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UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA 
AT LOS ANGELES 




THE GIFT OF 

MAY TREAT MORRISON 

IN MEMORY OF 

ALEXANDER F MORRISON 



Digitized by tine Internet Arciiive 

in 2008 witii funding from 

IVIicrosoft Corporation 



littp://www.arcliive.org/details/eveningsatliaddonOOcala 



EVENINGS 

AT 

HADDON HALL, 

a ^tvit^ of laomantic CaloS of tlje ©lUtu Ctmc. 

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY 

GEORGE CATTERMOLE. 




^ 



LONDON: GEOKGE BELL & SONS, YOEK STREET, 
COVENT GARDEN. 

1889. 



LONDON" : 

PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWKS AND 30S3, LIMITEtt, 

STAMFORD STRKKT ANP <'HARISG CROSS. 



C 15£ 



ADVERTISEMENT. 



Little need be said in commendation of this artistical 

volume. Cattermole ranks, by common consent, in the very 

5^ first class of English artists, and the present examples are 

^ among the most pleasing of liis efforts. The Engravers, all 

<c 

of distinguished excellence, have done justice to the painter ; 
z and, considered as a whole, it is perhaps not too much to say, 
'j2 that the present volume, for perfection of art combined with 
§ moderation in price, stands unrivalled. 

The letterpress is contributed by various competent 
< writers, under the editorial superintendence of the Baroness 

^ de Calabrella 

S 

S H. G. B. 



4S9087 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

IXTRODOCTION . v .. . 1 



EVENING THE FIRST. 

THE TODENAMENT 13 

ANDRIANI , 55 

EVENING THE SECOND. 

THE FORTUNES OF THE GLENGARY 90 

love's LAST TRYST 148 

EVENING THE THIRD. 

some PASSAGES IN THE LIFE OF THE CONQUISTADOR . . 154 

THE SECRET OF THE FOUNTAIN 173 

THE poet's bride ... 184 

QUEEN MARY's WELCOME 190 

THE ABBEY IN RUINS 193 



tl C0STENT8. 

EVENING THE FOURTH. 

PAOE 

THE ASTROLOGER • 205 

THE GUARDIAN ANGEL 231 

THE NUBIAN SLAVE 264 

EVENING THE FIFTH. 

KOE .297 

THE TERRACE GARDEN 326 

CONSCIENCE 349 

EVENING THE SIXTH. 

THE ASSAULT OF THE DEVIL'S BRIDGE 365 

CHARLES THE 1-WELtUH , 368 

LOVE TO THE RESCUE ..... 37,1 



ILLUSTRATIONS, 



DRAWINGS BY GEORGE CATTERMOLE. 



NAME OF ENGBAVEB. 



1. The Armourer's Tale L. Stocks . 

2. Arming a Young Knight ..../. Goodyear 

3. The Knight's Departure for the ) ^ „ , 

\ L. Stocks . 

Tournament ) 

4. The Tournament C. Rolls . . 

5. The Knight's Death J. Goodyear 

6. The Sleeping Captive C. Rolls . . 

7. Ship in Flames J. C. Bentley 

8. The Aged Minstrel L. Stocks . 

9. Moonlight Scene in Venice . . . R. Brandard 
10. Ancient Halt., with Soldiers ) 



Carousing 



f 



J. C. Bentley 



PAGE 

25 
36 

41 

53 

54 

69 

132 

147 

148 

165 



ILLU8TUATIONS. 



• I Wti'T. NAME OP tNliUAVe*. PA ^8 

11. The MAr.i; Fountain J.Coxiscn ... 181 

12. ThkToct's Bkiuk C. Rolls . ... 189 

13. The Royal Vlsit //. Oriffiths. . . 192 

14. The Re INED Abbey S.Fisher ... 198 

15. Tub Astrologer II. Rolls. ... 224 

16. The Pamphili Doria Gardens . . — Radcliffe . 233 

1 7. Disuantled Vessel in a Stoum . . R. Brandard . . 275 

18. ZoB, AT HER Balcony .... C. Rolls . . . . 322 

19. Thb TEBR.VCE Garden J. Cousen . . . 327 

20. The Private Chapel F. Englehart . . 360 

21. The CataiIA«ji J. C. BenXley . . 3G5 

22. The Mone — Higham . . 382 

23. A Hawkdjo Party R. Brandard . .391 

24. The Weloohe J. B. Allen. . . 407 



EYENINGS AT HADBON HALL 



In the most singular and romantic, and withal the 
most beautiful, of the divisions of our all-beautiful Eng- 
land — the district of the Peak — is situated one of the 
noblest of those architectural relics of the times of Chi- 
vahy and Romance, which any country, even England 
itself, can boast — a relic that is preserved by its owners 
with as pious care, and made the object of as many pil- 
grimages of admiring interest, as the shrines of saints are 
wont to be, in countries where saints were needed to 
supply the place of those social \irtues of which the 
"merry England" of the olden time was the chosen 
home. At the period when Haddon Hall was the proud 
seat of the Vernons, the old Enghsh hospitality of our 
barons and feudal chiefs rendered supei-fluous that less 
gracious and grateful dispensation which had previously 
borne the name of Charity — a name that the wiser bene- 
volence of the times we speak of had, in England at least, 
banished from the vocabulaiy used to interpret between 
man and man. At this period, the princely hos])itality of 
the Lords of Haddon Hall, demanded for its due dis- 
pensation the constant services of a retinue of seven score 
of domestics, and an annual outlay that would have ex- 

B 



J! EVLNINGS AT UADDON HALL. 

haustcd the treasury of many of the reigning sovereigns 
of less favoured count nes. 

It is within the precincts of this princely abode of the 
Vcraons and the Manncr^-js that those simple revels are to 
take place in which we would fain interest the imagina- 
tions of our readers, with a view to their due appreciation 
ol' those exquisite specimens of high art which it is our 
pleasant office to be the medium of introducing to the 
world, and which owe their inspiration to the stately times 
to which those stately relics belong — times when, depre- 
cate them as we may, by our meaningless epithets of 
" rude," " barbarous," " uncivilized," and the like, gave 
rise to nobler achievements of human intellect, brighter 
]»liases of human character, more beautiful examples of 
Inunan virtue, and more signal evidences of the heights to 
which our common \iature is capable of attaining, than are 
even "dreamt of in the pliil()so])hy," much less realised in 
the practice, of our own ultra-civilized day — times, too, to 
which the highest art and the purest literature of our own 
day are frequently compelled to resort, in search of those 
tvjjcs of excellence, those traits of heroism, and those 
svmbols of intellectual and moral beauty, for which the 
enamoured seekers look in vain in that more "cultivated" 
era to which they appeal. 

But let us not, in our desire to be just to the illus- 
trious Dead, do an unjust thing to the illustrious Living — 
least of all let us do this on the threshold of that spot 
V hi^-h, it may be, is destined to Ijc hallowed by the revival 
ul' those very institutions to which the "good old times" 
owed all their goodness, and " merry England " all her 
extinct merriment. If the social life of England is destined 
10 sec the present "winter of her discontent" melt into the 
genial sprmg-time of hopeful promise, and happy perforin- 



EVENINGS AT UADDON HALL. 6 

ance, by a recurrence to those antique usages^ the birth of 
which was coeval with the antique halls to which we are 
conducting our readers, it will be (under Heaven) through 
the instrumentality of what the wise world is at present 
pleased 'to consider as the "dreams" of a scion of that 
noble house to which those halls belong. If we err not 
greatly, the name of Manners will, at no distant period, 
be associated with that noblest and happiest of all revolu- 
tions, a recurrence to those wise simplicities of social life 
which mark the youth of all nations, and which too seldom 
survive it. 

It is, then, to Haddon Hall, with its noble recollec- 
tions, its happy associations, and the still happier promises 
and pi'ophecies of what may belong to its future destiny, — 
that we desire the reader to accompany us in imagination, 
while we endeavour to place before him, in a light worthy 
their unequalled beauty, results of the pictorial art which 
nothing but scenes and social institutions like those of 
Haddon in the olden time could have inspired, and which, 
in the presence of more modern localities and associations, 
would lose half their interest, and all that dignified pro- 
priety and appropriateness which are the crowning graces 
of high art. 

Haddon Hall was built before the Conquest ; and the 
extensive and elaborate alterations, and vast additions, 
made to it at so many different periods, afford a signal 
proof of the estimation in which this noble baronial man- 
sion was held, both for its internal magnificence, and the 
beauty of the surrounding scene. To have demolished 
any portion of this dignified and time-hononred structure, 
would have been held sacrilege by the whole neighbour- 
hood; indeed, there were so many legends and supersti- 
tions connected with the various parts of it, that it has 



4 EVENINGS AT UADDON HALL. 

always been an object of veneration, and sometimes of 
terror, in the country around. Even to some of its mas- 
sive trees there were talcs attached, which were handed 
traditionally from generation to generation, but never 
whispered beyond the precincts of the domain. Some of 
these are now about to be disclosed for the amusement of 
our readers. In the meantime, we must be allowed to 
complete our descriptive sketch of the spot at that parti- 
cular period of its existence (we will not specify precisely 
how many or how few years ago) at which we have chosen 
to make it the scene of our revels. 

The mansion was ap])roached by a massive portal be- 
tween two towers, near the angk of the lower ward; at the 
upper side of which, was the principal entrance to the body 
of the mansion, many of the earliest features of which have 
been studiously preserved. The great banqueting-hall iu 
particular remained nearly in its primeval state, and con- 
tained many antlers, casques, and bucklers of various ages, 
from its foundation. This hall opened, at the lower extre- 
mity, immediately into the kitchen, from one part, and 
from another into the buttery, whence the substantial 
viands were formerly served. Near the door of the latter, 
there still remained (and remains) a curious instrument 
attached to its post, resembling a handcuff, — in which, it 
is supposed, the wrist of any recreant who refused to quaff 
the generous goblet presented to him, was confined in a 
position raised above his head, so that the contents of the 
goblet which he had rejected might be poured down his 
sleeve ; for, in those simple times, it was deemed as much 
a duty to do honour to hospitality as it was to dispense 
it : you might stay away from the generous revels ; but if 
you chose to be j)rcseut at them, you were expected to 
yield to those influences which, for the time, made aU 



EVENINGS AT HADDON HALL. D 

equal. In this hall, in former ages, the lord of the soil sat 
at the high table, surrounded by his family; while his 
vassals and retainers occupied two long tables flanking the 
walls. 

On the occasion we are about to signalise, — which was 
in celebration of the birthday of his only child, a beautiful 
girl of fifteen years of age, — the then lord of this princely 
domain occupied the same seat, and the customs and cere- 
monies of the antique time were preserved, as far as they 
could be rendered consistent with modei'n luxuries and 
refinements; as, for instance, the rushes, which had for- 
merly strewed the floor, were now replaced by magnificent 
carpets from the Tm-kish looms; the bare oaken forms by 
cushioned, high-backed, and richly-carved chairs ; the 
pewter or wooden trenchers, by massive services of plate. 
Many ancient goblets had been preserved, and were held 
in far greater veneration than any of the splendid addi- 
tions of gold and silver plate which adorned the gorgeous 
sideboards. The ancient arras had been kept through 
each generation with great care, and still decorated the 
walls. 

The upper end of this hall communicated with the 
guard-room, leading to a spacious staircase of old black 
oak, in the walls of which were many niches containing 
suits of armour and military trophies. The ceiling was of 
massive oak, panelled, and decorated with gold and bril- 
liant colours, and emblazoned with the numerous armorial 
bearings of the noble ancestors of the family. The large 
bay window, by which the staircase was lighted, projected 
from the centre of the broad landing, and contained rare 
specimens of ancient painted glass. At each end of this 
landing were doors, communicating, the one on the right 
to the state apartments, and the other, on the left, to the 



C) EVENIN-GS AT IIADDON HALL. 

private apartments. These continued in opposite direc- 
tions round the great quadrangle, meeting on the opposite 
side in the chapel. 

The tirst ajjartment on the right was an ante-chamber; 
the second, a spacious and lofty room, or audience- 
chanibei', opening directly into the gi'cat gallery, — the 
proportions of which might, at tirst sight, appear some- 
what too naiTow, but this apparent defect was amply com- 
pensated for by three deep and spacious recesses, the 
farther end of which was comjiosed of alternate casements 
and mullions of stone. The upper compartments of these 
casements were nearly filled with the finest old stained 
glass, while the lower portions were left clear, with the 
evident object of gaining an uninterrupted view into the 
tilt-yard ; in the wide arena of which many a tournament 
had been held, in those days when every word and action 
of a true and loyal knight had some reference to their 
lady-love ; when they styled themselves servants, or slaves 
of love — " serviteurs, ou servants d' amour;" — and in this 
adopted character of slaves, they often suff'ered themselves 
to be led to the place of combat by their fair mistresses, 
by small chains, or rich ribbons, fastened to the head- 
pieces of their horses. In the same quality, the knights 
wore the colour and livery of their ladies, and certain 
devices, which were only understood by each other ; and 
these "devices d'amour" are the principal origin (according 
to Saint Palaye) of the unintelligible words to be found in 
the arms of many noble houses. 

The gallery, of which we have spoken, had been the 
favourite resort of the family of each possessor ; and 
whether occupied by a large or small party, had always a 
cheerful and commodious aspect. Many a game of blind- 
man's buft' had been played at one end of it, by the young 



JiVENINGS AT HADDOX HALL. 7 

aud buoyant of spirit, without disturbing the gravity of some 
political discussion that was being carried on by the diplo- 
matists of the day in one of the recesses, or deranging the 
whist party of some dowager intent on the odd trick. 

From time to time, Haddon Hall had been honoured 
by many royal visits ; and the descriptions preserved in 
the record-tower, of these entertainments, prove that they 
must have been of the most sumptuous character. 

In latter years, the banqueting-hall had been used only 
upon great occasions ; and the party lately assembled to 
celebrate the birthday of the young heiress, having been 
reduced to a comparatively small circle of relations and 
intimates, the grand apartments were abandoned, aud the 
well-stored library became the resort of the remaining 
guests, among whom might be found that happy mLxtm'e 
of society nowhere to be met with in such perfection as in 
an English country-house. There were persons of various 
nations, holding eminent positions — ministers and diplo- 
matists, — distinguished members of the church, the bai', 
and the senate, — learned orators and statesmen, — men of 
nigh literary and scientific accomplishments, — members of 
the army and navy, — some students from the universities ; 
and, as might be expected, in company with such an 
assemblage of high-bred gentlemen, a goodly knot of fair, 
accomplished, and amiable women were also present. 

The season had advanced to the middle of March. 
The weather was unusually sevei'e ; snow was lying deep 
on the ground, forbidding egress from the mansion. This 
circumstance, which at first threatened to throw a gloom 
on the party, became unexpectedly the source of much 
interest and amusement. Ennui had begun to make itself 
felt, and the question of — What shall we do to pass the 
time ? had been whispered confidentially from one to an- 



8 EVENINGS AT IIAUDON HALL. 

other, till everybody seemed to have learned it by heart ; 
when, at last, the lovely daughter of the house, the Lady 
Eva, who was turning over a portfolio of " rich and rare " 
gems of art by George Cattermole, suddenly exclaimed — 

" Will some one come and explain what these beautiful 
])icturcs mean V 

The question, simple as it might seem, involved a point 
of critical difficulty, felf by most of those to whom the 
inquiry was addressed, but not readily to be solved by any 
one of them, without more thought than they seemed 
disposed to give to the subject. All present, not excepting 
the Lady Eva herself, appreciated the extraordinary beauty 
of the designs which lay before them ; but all, and she in 
jjarticular, were evidently perplexed, and some were even 
annoyed by the vague and unsatisfactory feeling which 
always attends the inspection of a design, of the precise 
subject of which we are ignorant. All felt that the 
designs, which were by this time eagerly spread out upon 
the library table by the Lady Eva, were exquisite works 
of art ; and all, like her, the more they examined them, 
became the more anxious to learn the particular subject of 
w hich each picture was an illustration. 

The artist himself not being present to reply to the 
repeated (mental) cry, on all hands, of " Explain ! Explain \" 
the case seemed a hopeless one, when a lady — (there is 
nothing like female wit for solving a knotty point, for if no 
other course is left, she will cut the knot, and solve it that 
way) — a lady exclaimed — " It would be easier, I suspect, 
to invent an illustration of each of these beautiful designs, 
than obtain, even from the artist himself, an intelligible 
account of the incidents of which they are illustrations." 

The vivacious fancy of the lovely Lady Eva seized the 
idea almost before it was fairly expressed, and she eagerly 



EVENINGS AT HADDON HALL. 9 

exclaimed; — " Oli, do invent some stories ! How delightful 
it will be! Who will begin ?" 

At first, the eagerness of the fair girl did but rouse 
the attention of all present to the object of her anxious 
interest- But to look upon works of art like those in 
question, and not to feel the interest and curiosity they 
excite " grow by what ^tis fed on," is impossible. Every 
one was presently absorbed in the careful examination 
of the several designs, with a sort of half unconscious 
desire to arrange his or her thoughts or feelings respecting 
each of them, into some tangible and intelligible narrative 
form j and before the Lady Eva, in her anxious culling of 
the designs, with a view to the commencement of the 
pleasant project, had found time to repeat her question, of 
" Who will invent some stories ? " several of the members 
of that accomplished company had made up their 
minds that the project should not fail for want of their 
assistance. 

Just at this point, the first dinner-bell rung, to the no 
slight chagrin of the eager and excitable Eva ; 

" And when a dinner 's in the case, 
All other things, you know, give place." 

At least, it is so in that true home and temple of Hos- 
pitality, an English country-house. But they often give 
place, only to be entertained with double zest for the delf^v. 
At all events, in the case we are treating of, the appare 
interruption to the project did but forward, rather thai, 
retard it, and even before the lady guests had quitted the 
board, it had been fully determined, on all hands, by a 
sort of tacit compact, felt rather than expressed, that the 
Birthday Eevels of the lovely daughter of their host 
should be signalized by something more likely to be 



10 EVENINGS AT 11 ADDON HALL. 

remembered pleasantly and profitably in her after years, 
than the inanities of a qnadrille, the twirlings of a waltz, 
the traniplings of a polka, or the small-talk proper to the 
intervals oecurring between sueh frivolities. 

Accordingly, by the time our party had re-assembled in 
the library that same evening, a desultory conversation 
between the most gifted members of it, especially those 
among them who had some practical knowledge of the use 
of the pen, had arranged the general features of the sini])le 
plan on which to carry out the fortuitous suggestion of the 
young Queen of the llevels of Haddon Hall ; leaving the 
minor details of the ])lan to the momentary suggestions of 
its originator, and thus affording her the double delight 
of feeling that she was in some sort the architect of that 
monument which was destined, in after years, to mark her 
happy advent to that loveliest of all the phases of female 
life, the debateable point which intervenes between the 
fresh dawn of roseate girlhood, and the bright sunrise of 
incipient womanhood. 

It only remains for the recorder of these " Evenings 
at Haddon Hall " to relate, in the fewest possible words, 
the simple steps by which the Lady Eva was led, almost 
unconsciously on her own part, to work out the inartificial 
plan which her eager and excited imagination had ori- 
ginated. And first, of the first Evening. 



EVENING THE FIRST. 



It miist be noted that the Lady Eva, who was, perhaps, 
even better acquainted with the history of her father's 
noble place than any one else present, had, while waiting 
somewhat impatiently in the library for the advent of the 
last lagging guests from the dinner-table, in her nervous 
restlessness, several times passed to the moon-lit windows 
of the fine old room, and looked forth vaguely on the 
great court below, tracing the massive shadow of one of 
the old towers, as it lay in heavy blackness on the other- 
wise bright space. But on the last occasion of her look- 
ing forth, a thought seemed to flash like a sudden light 
upon her eager fancy — she started from the window — 
clapped her fair hands, as if in an ecstasy of mingled 
pleasure and excitement, and exclaimed aloud, — 

" A Tournament ! The very thing ! How delightful ! 
That shall be the subject of our first story." 

While speaking, she betook herself to the table where 
the beautiful drawings, on which her mind was so intent, 
were spread in bright confusion, and selected from among 
them five, which evidently owed their origin to the times 
when noble feats of arms held the place of those ignoble 
sports — (our male readers will forgive us the phrase, bear- 
ing in mind the sex, and, it may be, pitying ihe simple 



12 EVENINGS AT IIADDON HALL. 

tastes of the recorclor of these siinj)le Revels) — which have 
mainly helped to banish chivalry from the land. 

" There !" continued the lovely child, worthy herself 
to stand for an effigy of one of those "ladyes-fayre" who 
figured in the times which now filled her eager thoughts ; 
" There ! somebody shall make a story about those five 
beautiful designs, and call it ' The Tournament.' " 

" Mark you her absolute shall ?" It was final, on the 
present occasion, as the " shall " of beauty is, and (some- 
times) ought to be. Turning with the quick tact of youth 
to the individual of all that company best fitted, by his 
studies and tastes, to carry her happy thought into effect, 
the Lady Eva went up to him, and, holding out the 
designs, exclaimed — raising her beseeching eyes to his 
face with one of those radiant smiles which are so resist- 
less in the early bloom of girlish beauty, — 

" There ! you shall be my knight-errant of the evening, 
and lead the Revels. You know what a number of pretty 
things you have told me of the brave knights and beau- 
tiful ladies who used — I don't know how many hundred 
years ago— to grace our old court-yard below, and turn its 
present dreary and dreamy silence into a scene of noisy 
revelry. Nay, it was only yesterday you were telling me 
anecdotes of some of the wearers of those very helmets, 
and the wielders of those very swords and lances, that 
hang uselessly on the walls of our old banqueting-hail. 
If you could make, or remember, all those delightful little 
stories and anecdotes from merely looking on a few bat- 
tered casques and rusty weapons, surely these beautiful 
drawings must inspire you with whole volumes. Come — 
take them ! Look at them for five minutes, and then im- 
provisez me a Tale of Chivalry that shall make them all as 
intelligible as if Mey were executed for if, not it for them." 



THE TOURNAMENT. 13 

The appeal was not to be resisted — at all events, not 
by the young and enthusiastic student and admirer of that 
age and its attributes to which the appeal applied. He 
took the drawings that the Lady Eva held out to him ; 
examined them one by one, carefully and intently, for a 
few minutes, and then, the company having hushed itself 
to silence for the expected result, he proceed to relate 

THE TOURNAMENT. 

The ravages of war seldom leave enduring traces on 
the earth. Often a field of battle, with all its agonies and 
terrors, is known only by the richer harvest that waves on 
its breast. Nature, which banishes so soon from a nation^a 
mind and heart the memory of great calamities, is careful, 
at the same time, to efface all material vestiges of them. 
Even walls, that have been carried by storm and blackened 
by fire, soon cease to exhibit distinct signs of strife. 
Luxuriant vegetation covers the stains of blood and 
smoke ; creeping plants and shrubs insinuate their roots 
in crevices made by the shock of artillery, and gracefully 
crown the battlements and towers that have been partially 
overthrown by the repeated assaults of an armed host. 
When this transformation is complete, hardly, to an un- 
practised eye, can the slow and peaceful ravages of time 
be distinguished from the work of destruction accom- 
plished by man. A generation does not elapse before the 
castle that has been overthrown by an enemy, and that 
presented at first frightful images of war, shows the same 
aspect as one that has been suffered to go to decay from 
the protection of its walls being no longer needed, and 
that stands, even in ruin, a monument of peace. 

Many dismantled castles of the character thus mdi 



14 EVLXINGS AT II ADDON HALL. 

cated were to be seen in England in the reign of the fourth 
Edward, after the long and disastrous civil wars. In the 
county of Derby there was one calculated to strike the 
eye, from its magnitude and the peculiarity of its site. It 
was built on a natural elevation, which, from having been 
gradual, had by art been rendered rugged and abrupt, — 
the steep pathway, by which access alone could be gained, 
having been jealously guarded from the possibility of suc- 
cessful attack ; but overthrown defences alone now marked 
the care that had been taken to render the fortress 
impregnable. 

From the height there was a noble view, over wood- 
land, meadow, and river, till the prospect was bounded by 
a chain of irregular hills, which, in all aspects of light and 
shade, mingled so naturally with the hue of heaven, that 
it was difficult to tell where earth ended and sky began. 
To the east these hills were softened down into a series 
of gentle undulations ; and here, at the extreme range of 
vision, rose the walls and turrets of a castle, belonging to 
the house of Lenordc. Between this powerful family and 
that of the Fauconvilles there had long been bitter and 
deadly enmity. The clear stream that separated the two 
domains, and served as tiieir frontier, suggesting, with its 
pellucid waters and richly fringed banks, only images of 
peace, had often ran red with the blood of the retainers 
of the two great rivals. There was perpetual and, as it 
Bceracd, inextinguishable strife between them, and each 
lord could refer to a long list of injuries, treasured up 
with as much care as the noble deeds of his ancestors, to 
justify the continuance of the feud, and the call for reta- 
liation. It was remarked that, in all disputes of the 
state, these houses invariably took opposite sides. Tra- 
dition traced their hatied (so long will hatred survive its 



THE TOURNAMENT. 15 

first occasion) to a quarrel that had taken place on a point 
of precedent when the Conqueror was preparing in Nor- 
mandy his invasion of the English shores. From this 
insignificant source had descended the broad tide of 
quarrel that had caused so many calamities, and that 
seemed widening and augmenting as it pursued its course 
unchanged through all the mutations of time. At no 
period within memory had the two families been at peace. 
As the fortunes of one sank, those of the other commonly 
rose ; but never had either possessed sufficient power to 
wholly crush his opponent. An ancient prophecy, sug- 
gested, doubtless, to some bard by the hope of gaining 
his lord's favour, or of pleasing the popular prejudices of 
those with whom he lived, ran that friendship between the 
two houses should be fatal to both. The superstition was 
cherished on each side, and guarded in remembrance with 
as much care as an article of faith : it well answered 
its end, and caused the prospect of even a temporary 
arrangement, or the slightest approach to conciliation, to 
be regarded mth horror, as an omen of evil. 

In the long wars of the Roses, the two chiefs then at 
the head of their respective houses, found ample oppor- 
tunities of gratifying their animosity. Deadly injuries 
were mutually given and received. In the conflict, both 
champions were weakened, and shared in the fluctuations 
of the sides they embraced, but years elapsed before one 
could boast of a superiority over the other. "When, at 
last, fortune determined the victory, she did so decisively. 

Sir Eichard de Lenorde and the Baron of Fauconville 
were in the prime of life when the war first broke out. 
Sir Richard, more renowned for policy than deeds in arms, 
espoused the cause of York, destined in the end to be 
victorious. His rivalj of more chivalrous character, and 



IG EVENINGS AT HADDON HALL. 

one of the best knights of his age, remained Rteady it hia 
allegiance to Henry the Sixth. When, at length, the 
AVhite Rose was in the ascendant. Sir llichard, whose in- 
fluence was strong with his great leader, the Duke of 
York, persuaded him to bend for a time all his strength to 
the subjugation of one of his bravest and most dangerous 
opponents. An army, rapidly collected, advanced, without 
notice of its approach, and surrounded Lord Fauconville*s 
castle. The brave chief, without hope of relief, saw him- 
self doomed to inevitable ruin. Throughout the land 
there ran a rumour that a terrible example would be made 
of the powerful and malignant Lancastrian. His defence 
was worthy of his fame. Disdaining a submission, which 
he knew would be fruitless, he boldly defied his enemies, 
and knowing who had brought this overwhelming force 
against him, sent a formal challenge to his foe. Sir Richard 
de Lenorde, demanding that the fate of the siege should 
be decided by a mortal combat between them, in view of 
the besieging army and the defenders of the castle. The 
days were past when such a chivalrous defiance would be 
accepted, and the answer returned was stern and con- 
temptuous : — " We have met as equals, often enough," it 
said ; " when we face each other next, it shall be for the 
moment that elapses before the headsman strikes his blow. 
It is not for a rebel to prescribe terms to his conquerors." 
Braver knisht never mounted steed or ciuarded fortress 
than the good Baron of Fauconvillc. But unavailing are 
the efforts of the highest will against the might that over- 
masters it. In vain docs the captive, with stout heart and 
strong hand, strive to rend the massive walls that enclose 
him ; in vain does the pilot oppose skill and resolve to 
the strength of wind and wave. The lord of the belea- 
guered castle disputed every inch of ground with his foes^ 



THE TOURNAMENT. 17 

but they were numerous, active, and determined. Slowly 
they gained the outward defences, and advanced to the 
very walls : force did much ; famine more. The whole 
garrison became exhausted or disabled, and on the morn- 
ing wheri the grand assault was made, not a hundred men 
were on the walls to meet it. There was a bloody and 
desperate struggle, hand to hand, upon the ramparts. 
Fighting to the last, though wounded and faint, the Baron 
was surrounded by a host of foemen, and struck to the 
ground. Then all was lost, and the castle given to rapine. 
Utterly helpless, but with a spirit still unconquered, the 
Lord of Fauconville was led into the presence of his here- 
ditary foe. An order for his execution had been obtained 
from York, who was enraged by the length of the siege, 
and the loss of his troops. In the sight of weeping cap- 
tives and the triumphant host stood the fatal block, with 
the executioner wielding his keen axe beside it. Disdain- 
ing to ask for mercy, the brave lord advanced with firm 
and steady pace to his death, haughtily returning the 
exulting glartces of his pitiless foe. Once only his frame 
shook with a strong convulsion, and his features lost their 
composure. It was when Sir Richard de Lenorde rudely 
seized from a matron's arms the infant son of Fauconville, 
the sole hope of his house, and triumphantly held him in 
view of his captive father. For an instant, the chief hesi- 
tated ; nature was strong within his breast ; and he almost 
decided to dash through his guards, snatch his son from 
the polluting grasp that held him, and die with him in his 
arms ; but his pride forbade him to give this last triumph 
to his enemy. With a strong effort, he mastered his emo- 
tion, and commended his child to God. As he reached 
the elevation where the apparatus of death was displayed, 
he gazed round on the lovely view, every object of which 

c 



18 EVENINGS AT II ADDON HALL. 

was endeared to him by some early recollection. Then, 
raising his noble form to its full di;j:nity, and casting back 
the masses of hair from his pale but high and haughty 
features, he exclaimed, in tones that were heard widely 
round, and fell distinctly on the listening car of his inve- 
terate rival — " Sir Richard de Lenorde, had I fallen by 
thy hand in the fair and open combat of man to man, I 
would have forgiven thee with my dying breath, and have 
l)raycd that the quarrel between our houses might cease. 
Thou hast taken a mean advantage of me ; this is butcher}', 
not conquest ; my blood be on the head of thee and 
of thy children.^' 

The whole assembly, awe-struck, heard the curse, which, 
spoken by dying lips, seemed to breathe the spirit of pro- 
phecy. Then, calmly placing his head on the block, the 
baron held his hand aloft, a sign for the headsman to 
strike. As the axe flashed in the air, and descended, a 
scream of grief and agony burst forth from a thousand 
faithful hearts. It was the death-wail of the greatest and 
bravest wamor of an illustrious line. 

Motives of policy, mingled, perhaps, with some touch 
of pity for the orphan^s helplessness, prompted Sir Richard 
to spare the child. Were he removed, the house of Fau- 
conville would not long remain without an enterprising 
leader, who might renew the strife. From this danger the 
knight felt secure, so long as he kept the true heir in his 
custody. The result showed his prudence. In his 
hands, the young lord became a hostage of ])eace, 
and the wide domain, that had so long been the heritage 
of the Fauconvillcs, was quietly submitted to Sir Richard's 
authority. 

Years went by, and the curse of the dying lord bore no 
fruit. In the increasinir prosperity of the house of Df 



THE TOURNAMENT. 1& 

Lerorde, it faded away from the memory of all but a ff^u' 
of the most devoted adherents of the mm'dered baron. Sir 
Richard helped to place the crown on Edward's brows, 
and to give the last fatal blow to the Lancastrian cause 
at Barafet. His son, a noble youth, was one of the 
favoured attendants of Edw^ard's court, and the old knight 
lived full of years and honour. As the defeated party 
gathered round the new monarchy, they began to acquire 
influence, and the connexions of the Fauconville house 
threatened to call De Lenorde to account. But he had 
anticipated their clamours. A grant from the crown — 
how procui-ed little mattered — gave him title to the Faucon- 
ville lands, with the exception of some few acres reserved 
round the castle ; and another royal order constituted him 
the guardian of the young lord. To all appearance, he 
performed his part fairly ; the castle was partially restored, 
though its defences were carefully left unrepaired, and the 
remaining portion of the child's inheritance was ostenta- 
tiously placed under careful stewardship. The policy of 
Sir Richard was to give no pretence for clamour, and he 
succeeded. 

Had the character of the young lord been other than 
it was, the old knight might have played a bolder and 
more daring game. But as the youth advanced to man- 
hood, there seemed nothing to fear from him. Gentle, 
almost timid in disposition, he took little delight in war- 
like exercises, preferring more peaceful pastimes, with 
hawk and hound. 

Educated in a religious house, he had caught some- 
thing of the monkish taste for learning, which his politic 
guardian took care to encourage. He gave the boy's 
dreamy tastes free indulgence, and let him wander as he 
willed amid rural solitudes. With a pleased eye, he saw 



20 EVENINGS AT UADUON HALL. 

that one of Lis girls was tlic cliosen companion of the 
youth's excursions. To the knight's thought, there was 
nothing unnatural in an union between the two houses. 
Such alliances were of common occurrence, since the wars 
had finally ceased; and were Edmund Fauconville wedded 
to the Lady Alice de Lenorde, the last fear would be re- 
moved from his mind of being called to account for the 
blood he had shed, and the lands he had usurped. He 
watched over their growing passion, laughing, as he fancied 
that the youth was more girlish in his heart than his com- 
j)anion. Fate denied him the full accomplishment of his 
wishes. He sickened ; and, warned that his end ap- 
proached, summoned his family around him. He placed 
first the hand of the timid Edmund in that of his own 
bold, spirited son. Sir Raoul, though both youths shrank 
from the contact, and then motioned the young lord to 
embrace the sorrowing Alice, who knelt by the bed-side. 
The youth complied ; but it seemed when he again rose, 
and shook back his dark waving hair from his thoughtful 
features, that the dying knight's spirit was mightily dis- 
turbed, as his eye caught the earnest and fixed regard of 
the youthful baron. He gave a deep groan, as if his soul 
was troubled by some grievous remembrance. The priest, 
who hung above him to catch his last accents, heard him 
murmur — " How few years have made us even ! ]\Iay the 
curse lie with me in my grave !" With these words he 
sank back and expired. 

It is beautiful to see young and loving hearts happy m 
the present, and confident in the future, dreaming neither 
of gloom nor cloud, having no foreshadowing of coming ill, 
fancying that the clear blue sky of a summer's night, 
vith its myriad stars, is an image of life and its pleasures. 



THE TOURNAMENT. 21 

Then only does liope exist without fear, and indulge itst 
happy illusions without dread of their fading. 

Two beings in the very brightness and dawn of youth- 
ful maturity wandered together through the sweet scenes 
of nature that surrounded their castle homes. The che- 
quered shade of forest trees shielded them from the ar- 
dent sun, and a stream., now deep and silent, which they 
compared to their love — now shallow and babbling, which 
they likened to joys less pure than theirs, filled the air with 
a delicious murmuring, and gave the promise, if not the 
reality, of refreshing coolness. The youth and maiden 
spoke of their prospects and plans without reserve. After 
their marriage, they would reside together in the abode of 
his fathers. It was less splendid, less luxurious, than the 
dwelling she had been accustomed to, but it had the re- 
mains of former grandeur, and they could make of it 
what they pleased. As the day declined, he led her will- 
ing steps up a steep pathway, conducting to the height, 
where the castle walls, though the battlements were over- 
thrown, and the defences gone, threw bold masses of 
shadow doAvn the eastern slopes. The girl marked the 
ruins with a smile. 

" Ah, how beautiful," she said, " are these large masses 
of stone, covered with fresh moss, and blooming with wild 
thyme and oxslip \" 

The youth's cheek was flushed, but he did not answer, 
and the girl went on — 

" We have lost nothing by nature's gain. These walls^ 
they tell me, did but provoke war, without contributing to 
the happiness of those who dwelt within them. Look, 
here is the home entire." 

It was so ; whatever damage had been done by rude 
assault to the domestic apartments of the castle^ had been 



il4 r.VENINGS AT HADDON HALL. 

repaired. Little was wanting to the noble mansion, fave 
in the interior the restoration of the rich furniture and 
decorations which had once adorned it. 

He guided her through the large and lofty halls, mag- 
nificent even in their desolation, and led to rooms which 
had been partially refitted, enjoying her exclamations of 
surj)rise that so much had been done since her last visit ; 
and thence to the chapel, where, in fair order, were ranged 
the tombs of his ancestors. Not one was wanting. The 
young lord knelt for a moment before the sculptured eflBgy 
and graven words which told of the valiant deeds and 
virtues of his sire. He died, said the tablet, in defending 
his castle from an assault led on by the great Duke, father 
of King Edward. 

"A noble death, Alice ! He was a knight of high re- 
nown, and won his spurs in France, fighting by the side 
of the renowned King Henry. But, come ; I have yet a 
greater surjjrisc for you !" 

They traversed a long and wide gallery, at the end of 
which a massive door admitted them into a noble hall 
The effect was singular. Through a richly-stained western 
window, the setting sun cast a Hood of brilliancy uj)on the 
lloor, rertecting the arms of the Fauconvillcs, and the pic- 
tured representation of their most famous deeds. Around 
the walls were many suits of polished armour, looking — so 
.junningly were the plates of mail arranged — like stalwart 
knights, ready to grasp the spears which stood beside 
them. In the centre, an aged man, with white hair, yet 
with grim and stern aspect, sat before what seemed a huge 
oaken frame-work, which served him as a board on which to 
pursue his labour. Arms of all kinds, in good order and 
well polished, were disposed in fantastical devices on the 
panels of the hall. A portrait, representing a head full cf 



THE TOURNAMENT. 23 

dignity and command, rested against a car\ed cabinet. The 
likeness to the youth, who gazed on it with melancholy 
aspect, was striking. Beside it was a shield, with the stain 
and dent of many a combat marked upon its disc. 

The girl rallied her lover on his warlike tastes. She 
expected to have seen a library, rather than so fine a col- 
lection of arms. Was he thinking of arming his vassals, 
and going to the approaching tournament ? There was 
something in the tone of raillery in which she spoke that 
displeased the old man. 

" And why," he said, " should the Lord of Fauconville 
not be at the tournament as well as Sir Raoul de Lenorde ? 
When were his fathers found at home, when honour was to 
be gained abroad ? But I forget," he added, with a grim 
smile ; " these tournaments are mere holiday shows now, 
where men tilt with headless spears, and lay on blows with 
blunted swords. Had knights done so in my young days, 
^twould have been long before we won Agincourt !" 

" This old man, Alice," said the young lord, bending 
over the chair in which she sat, " was my father's most 
trusted follower. All that you see here is his work, not 
mine. Here he exercises me in arms, and cases me in a 
coat of mail ; then from this window looks into the court- 
yard below, to see how lightly, with my suit of steel, I can 
leap upon a steed or bear a lance. We must not thwart 
him, though sometimes he extends too widely the privilege 
of age." 

The old armourer's ears caught the last words ; they 
heightened the displeasure which clouded his face, from 
the instant he saw who accompanied his lord. 

" The privilege of age !" he said, with something of 
sarcasm. " Ay, there is reason to complain of it, when 
we see nothing of the privilege of youth. In my days of 



24 EVENINGS AT IIAUDON HALL. 

manhood, those \vho bore noble names thought it a pri 
vilcge to do feats of arms, to avenge the wrongs of their 
house — to mount the war-steed when a challenge was sent 
abroad — to wear coats of mail like those, not silken gar- 
ments — to ride with their followers at their back, not stroll 
fcr ever through chambers that idleness keeps empty of 
trophies." 

The youth's brow had darkened, though he retained 
his temper. 

" He rails at me often thus, Alice, though scarcely so 
sharply; yet he knows that I can wield both spear and 
brand. How now, Stephen !'' he exclaimed, in a louder 
voice, " is this fitting speech for thy lord's son V 

There was deeper sarcasm in the old man's tones than 
he had yet ventured on, as he answered the question with 
another — " For my lord's son ? " 

" Ay, for yom- lord's son ; I understand your mcaninff,- 
old man. Would you have me prove my title to my name 
by always railing and quarrelling? Is it not enough that 
I am prepared to defend my right, if need be ? You have 
ceased this reproach since last my rapier struck yours from 
your hand." 

" Ah !" said the armourer, " it is a pity you can be 
brave to no one but your father's old servants." 

This was too much even for Lord Edmund's gentle 
temper, and he was about to make an angry reply, when 
the Lady Alice interposed. She spoke gently and sooth- 
ingly to the old man. 

" You have .seen much of brave service, good Stephen, 
and have been witness to many noble deeds — can you recall 
the memory of none of them now?— or do you think us 
unworthy to hear them ? Tell us of a tournament in your 
time, as you think ours so foolish." 




i9 



♦• 



THE TOURNAMENT. 25 

The armourer seemed little appeased by the lovely 
girl's gentleness. He neither looked at nor spoke to her, 
but turning to the young baron, who had then taken a 
blade from his board, said — 

" One noble tilting I have in memory, if my lord 
would desire to hear it, though it may be thought a re- 
proach to these prudent times. Ah, St. George ! men 
thought little of broken bones in those days. Those who 
were present at that field will not soon forget it.''^ 

" Well, let us hearyoiu- story. Alice, there is an hour 
of sunshine yet ; the evening will be sweet and cool ; some 
May yet lingers on the bushes ; the mavis and the night- 
ingale will give you their song as we return. I have a 
palfrey for you here. Do you mind, dear love, a half- 
hour's ride after sunset ? " 

A blush and a sweet smile were the answer. 

The old man commenced his tale. 

" It was after the return of our brave King Harry from 
France — oh ! that the son of so great a king should have 
been such a weakling ! I mind the time well ; for through- 
out the land there was nothing but joyance and idleness. 
I say, it was when brave King Harry — whom the saints 
keep ! — was newly returned from Trance, that the court, 
from very wantonness, began to quarrel. Some knights 
there were, prou d of their looks and glittering dresses, and 
their fame, who would, if they could, have behaved over 
pertly to the ladies of Queen Katherine's state. They 
were checked soon enough. I warrant they repented 
quickly of their forwardness, when they saw how it was 
resented. The rumour ran that one young malapert had 
his ears boxed by a noble lady, to whom he was too free of 
speech. 



26 EVENINGS AT H.VDUON HALL. 

" These young coxcombs were mightily incensed wiicn 
they saw the laugh turned against them. In revenge, 
they spread abroad rumours unfavourable to the reputation 
of the court ladies — ay, and in gross terms too — declaring 
that the maids of honour were not worthy of their titles, 
and that the dames who surrounded the throne were neither 
so fair nor so virtuous as they might be. You may be 
sure these springalds were soon called to account. But, to 
do them justice, there was no lack of s])irit among them ; 
and, banded together, eight-and-forty knights, of good re- 
pute in arms, who had won honour in France, and seen the 
princes and chivalry of that land fly before them, declared 
they would maintain their avouch with lance and sword, 
on foot or on horseback, in silken doublet or coat of mail, 
against the like number of gentlemen of birth, who would 
come against them. Ha ! ha ! they might want prudence, 
they might be too quick in quarrel, but braver men never 
bore shield. Their blades were ever ready to their hands, 
and tbeir seat in their saddle as firm as the roots of an 
oak in the ground. And that was known all over merry 
England ; so that their hardihood was applauded, and none 
cared to take up the glove they had thrown down. 

" When the ladies saw that knights were wanting to 
champion their cause, — for the graver sort would have 
nothing to do with this mad-cap quarrel — they wept for 
very shame and vexation, and vowed, that if the defiance 
were not met, they could show their faces round the throne 
no more. Some gallant youths declared they would do 
battle for the ladies' fair fame against all comers ; but the 
challengers stuck to their terms, and said, an equal number 
must meet them in the field — eight-and-forty against eight- 
and-forty; and that until their number was coniplcted, they 
held their challenge unaccepted, and the ladies disgraced. 



THE TOURNAMENT. 



or 



" Oh ! honour and virtue were dearly prized in those 
days ! No son forgot his father's fame — no daughter, her 
mother^s purity. These ladies then put on weeds, declaring 
their fair repute was dead, and that they w^ould w^eep for 
it, as loving wives weep for a well-loved spouse. The joy 
of the court was gone; no more silken bravery — no more 
laughing looks — no more merry, quick-glancing eyes — no 
more mirth and pageantry. Those who came to West- 
minster then thought the nation was in mourning. There 
were old men living who said, nothing so sorrowful had 
been seen since the great plague of 1349. "Wherever 
these noble and beauteous ladies went, there were the 
sounds and sights of woe ; and, to make the matter worse 
for them, the king swore by St. Denis he would not in- 
terfere, but leave the gallants of his realm to fight out the 
quarrel as they pleased. 

" There was one young lord w^ho took up the ladies' 
cause in a manner that won for him the good-will of all 
the women in the land. He dared the leader of the chal- 
lengers to combat with what weapons, and in what guise 
he pleased ; and when he was refused, swore by the Holy 
Virgin — and the brave youth kept his oath — that he would 
never quit his coat of mail till he had formed a band to 
meet the boasters, and had fairly broken a lance with their 
leader. Beauty and glory were his cry. Ah ! that was a 
time when such a cry would be carried over the world. 

" It is likely you may not recollect that the Princess 
Philippa, daughter of great John of Gaunt, was wedded to 
the brave and good king of Portugal, Don John, as they 
called him. I saw her, when a boy, as she went in a 
stately litter to Dover. We gave her a true English cheer; 
she waved her delicate hand to thank us, and then drew 
aside the silken curtains of her carria";e — I mind them 



28 EVENINGS AT Il.VDOON HALL 

well, worked with cloth of gold — and let us catch the last 
sight of her lovely face. Her hair, the colour of the silk 
the worm weaves, hung in glossy ringlets about her face 
and fair shoulders, and her eyes were as blue as the skies 
above, or as mariners who have ventured far to sea say the 
ocean is beyond sight of land. This princess thanked us 
with gentle courtesy. Oh, the noblest in the land could 
then sometimes spare a smile for the lowest ! 

" A noble queen did this gentle princess make ; and 
the youth of her adopted land loved her as though she had 
been bom of their own soil. "When she heard what was 
passing in England, she sorrowed too — for she never forgot 
dear England, that had such pride in her ; and then she 
dressed herself in weeds, and said she must needs mourn 
for the disgrace that had fallen on the daughters of her 
own native country. 

" "\Mien the queen's grief was told, all the hot blood of 
that southern land was on fire. More knights crowded to 
court than when an expedition was threatened against the 
floors. They swore, by all the saints of their land, that 
they would die or change the mourning garments of their 
queen into the gayest colours that the loom could fashion. 
The king would let no more than forty knights depart, 
and those were chosen by lot from the very chivalry of the 
land. 

" Eight English knights, on the ladies' part, went to 
meet them, and at their head the brave young lord, who, 
over his polished mail with its gold studs, wore a scarf of 
crape, to signify that he mourned, too, till the fair fame 
of the court dames was established. As the goodly pro- 
cession moved to London, there poured forth, from town 
and hamlet, thousands to welcome it. The knights passed 
beneath arches of welcome, and not a lady in all the land 



THE TOURNAMENT. 29 

was there who thought herself too uoble or tender to walk 
before them, and cast flowers for their horses' hoofs to 
trample. I warrant, in those times, no brave man ever 
wanted encouragement from ladies' eyes. 

" The king himself received them at Westminster, and 
lodged them in his palace. Who will forget that he slept 
himself in a tent, and waited on these knights as though 
he were a humble squire ? Night and day, the ladies 
worked for them banners, favours, and scarfs. I saw my- 
self, Sir John Maxwell, Lord Mayor of London, ride in his 
scarlet cloak, with all his officers and aldermen about hinij 
the golden mace, and the weighty sword of the city, such 
as a stalwart man could scarcely wield, — I saw them all 
go to Westminster, to pray the king that the tournament 
might take place within the city walls. The king was 
proud it should be so, and the lord mayor charged himself 
with the whole expense of fitting up Smithfield, where so 
many knightly games had been played in times past. 

*' Where would you find such a goodly company now 
as assembled then ? That was before Englishmen had 
taken to cut each other's throats. The flower of all the 
kingdom assembled that day, for it was bruited far and 
wide that such a tournament had never been seen in Eng- 
land before. The people lined the road-side by thousands, 
the hedge -rows were trampled down, and every tree 
swarmed with life. As you came to houses, you saw 
balconies decorated with cloth of gold and gems, and ladies 
ready to shower the most precious things they had in the 
warriors' path. No one knew how rich was London till 
that day. You could not see the colour of t^e houses for 
the tapestry that hung adown them. 

" Had you seen the procession, you would have 
thought our brave king was just going to take possession 



30 EVENINGS AT II ADDON II ALL. 

of the France he had won. There were archers and men- 
at-arms to clear the way ; but as they went by, the city 
youth broke into the road again, that they miglit mingle 
in the procession, and swear, in after-times, they had 
taken part in it. Then, there were trumpeters and heralds 
stiff with their gold embroidery, and the king-at-arms, 
looking more magnificent than any monarch ever seen — 
a body of knights in glittering steel came next, and after 
them the judges of the field — more archers to clear the 
way for the challengers — eight-and-forty of the bravest 
knights in the land, armed cap-a-pie, with their steeds 
dancing for delight as the trumpets sounded and the shouts 
of the people sliook the air. The ladies in the balconies 
and windows cast down their eyes ; but many an admiring 
glance did those knights gain that day, Fll engage ; for 
where could there be collected a band of fairer and braver 
youths ? 

" ' Room, there — room!' Ah, then came the glory 
of the pageant. The king himself — the darling of the 
land — shame to it that it forsook his son ! — the king 
came, in the midst of his brilliant court, aruied in mail 
from head to foot — I lie, his noble head was bare; a page 
bore his plumed helmet before him, and bent beneath its 
weight. Not a man who looked on the king that day but 
would have died for him, so loyal in those good days were 
the people. Those who shouted before, now wept ; those 
who danced, knelt down ; those who tossed their caps into 
the air, now raised their hands to heaven, to implore God's 
blessing on his royal majesty. 

" The Knights of Portugal rode next the king. Well 
do I mind their order — five a-breast, each with an English 
leader, and the gallant young lord, who had worn mail 
night and day for three months past, at the head of all 



THE TOURNAMEXT. 31 

As they came on, the ladies all welcomed them as their 
champions; benisons were showered on their heads by 
gentle lips, and look where they would, they saw only 
loving glances and sw^eet smiles. Flowers and favours 
were raided thick upon them; hands were clapped, and 
scarfs waved in ecstasy. Every one said those knights 
must triumph. 

" Then, last, in their mourning weeds, came Queen 
Katherine, and her maids and matrons, looking more 
lovely for their show of grief, more fair for their sombre 
garments. 

" The day would close before I could tell you all the 
gallant actions of the field. The challengers well main- 
tained their fame, yet still they were always worsted. The 
combat of the two leaders was most expected, for their 
fathers -were rivals before them. "When they met, at last, 
and rode proudly round the listSj the very sound of ap- 
plause was hushed in anxiety, and spectators hardly dared 
to draw their breath. The young lord who championed 
the ladies^ cause was such a stripling as thou art now; 
thy years were his ; yet he had then won honour which, 
had he died that hour, would have rendered his name 
famous for ever. As he looked round, before closing his 
vizor, there was many a lady there who vowed she would 
mourn for that handsome youth till her death, should he 
perish in the combat ; and the Virgin had endless gifts 
promised her shrine to bear him harmless. 

" The chargers they rode seemed to know the sound 
of the trumpet, and to be eager for the strife as their lords. 
They met in the middle of the field, with a shock that well- 
nigh appalled the stoutest heart there. Not for an instant 
was the conflict doubtful. The challenger, man and horse, 
rolled over and over on the plain ; but the ladies' champion 



S2 EVF.MNGS AT IIADDON HALL. 

remained erect in liis seat, his feet in the stirrups, his crest 
untouched, and the point of his opponent's lance borne 
harmlessly in his shield. He rode round the ring as gaily 
as before the encounter. For one instant surprise kept 
the spectators nmte ; no one had ever seen a victory more 
complete. Then rose a shout, which was heard that noon 
at Westminster. The queen crowned her champion, and 
the king threw round his neck a chain of gold and gems. 

" Fifty years are passed since then, but I can live on 
the memory of that hour. I shared in the triumph of my 
lord — my hands removed that armour from his honoured 
frame, never to be stained in conflict more — my " 

" Thy lord ! — thy hands !" impatiently exclaimed the 
youth, interrupting the armourer ; " what is this ? — what 
mean the tears that are flowing down thy cheeks ? Old 
man, you torture me. Speak, — this instant — speak, I 
command you \" 

" I have said it," said the armourer, solemnly ; " the 
victor was thy father." 

" And the vanquished knight ?" breathlessly asked 
Alice. 

" Lady, he was Sir Richard de Lenorde. Hear me 
yet. Now or never must I speak — now that a great 
truth, too long concealed, is struggling for utterance 
within me. Young lord, let go that hand. Her sire 
never forgave thine the issue of that day. He shunned 
him in open conflict, but he plotted his destruction. My 
lord died not with his sword in his hand, but with his 
head on the block. Sir Richard dc Lenorde gave the 
order for his execution, and stood by to see him die. The 
curse thy noble father left upon the head of him and 
his — the curse that still rings in my cars — has yet to be 
fulfilled." 



THE TOUHNAMEXT. 33 

"With these words, the old man rose, and abruptly left 
the hall. 

The Lady Alice, almost fainting, laid her hand upon 
the young lord's shoulder for support. He clasped her to 
his breast — all the tumult of his feelings giving way to 
love and pity. In the gloom of night that had gatherea 
round them, he vowed again that no power should part 
them, and that he would be true to her even in death. He 
knew not yet the power of the malignant star that ruled 
his destiny. 

No change could be noted in the gi-im features of the 
old man, when in the fresh air of morning he resumed his 
well-loved toil. He polished, filed, and riveted as before, 
and seemed to have no other thought than for the careful 
execution of his labours. 

A light but firm hand laid on his shoulder caused him 
to start. He looked up, and saw fixed on him the pale 
and eager gaze of his young lord. 

" Stephen, your tale was harshly told. It should have 
been given to my ear alone. But you are faithful. Is 
there yet more to be disclosed?'^ 

" What more do you think I have to tell ?" 

" Nay, I know not. Old man, you have maddened 
me, and I will be content with no half confidence. Let 
me know all your thought.'^ 

The rigid features of the armourer relaxed, and he 
changed at once from the stern monitor of vengeance, to 
the old and devoted adherent. 

" Dear lord, the living likeness of him I loved more 
than words can tell, I see in thee the only prop of this great 
house. Why should you stay here, when fame and renowa 
are to be won abroad ? Why be an outcast from the court> 

o 



ft4 EVENINGS AT HADDON HALL. 

where friends arc gathering to serve you ? ^Vhy not ap 
pear before Edward^s throne — men name liini generous — 
re-asscrt your rights, and rescue from disgrace and ob- 
scurity an honoured name V 

A single night had aroused in the youth's breast all 
the warlike ardour of his race. }Ie mused for an instant, 
and then said — 

"Well, Stephen, say on." 

" The rumour runs that the king is quick to be caught 
by address in warlike exercises. Who can have better 
claim to excel in them than you? If this hand, that 
taught you, be weak, it has the skill and cunning of sixty 
years' practice." 

" You would have me, Stephen, take part in this tour- 
nament — this gaudy reflexion of the past. Well, what 
more ? " 

" i\Iy honoured master, have I not proved to you my 
devotion and love ? Let me implore you, as you regard 
the memory of your dead father, as you prize your own 
safety — no, no, I know you regard not that — as you 
would preserve the noble name that has descended 
to you, separate yourself from the enemies of your 
house, bid them defiance — a marriage with the De 
Lenorde " 

" Peace, old man ! that matter is beyond you. I will 
go and demand justice from King Edward on his throne 
— demand the lands of which our house has been de- 
spoiled. Answer me not. See what arms you have ready 
for my use." 

The armourer, with trembling hand, swept from the 
caken board on which be worked the implements of his 
trade. Touching a hinge in front, a piece of ])lanking was 
iemoved, and a lock exposed to view. Taking from hia 



THE TOURNAMENT. 



35 



dress a. large and curious key, he presented it, kneeling, to 
his lord. 

The young baron seized and applied it to the lock ; it 
turned, but the huge chest refused to open and disclose its 
secret. The old man took a ponderous hammer, and 
pointed to the head of a spring in the lid, which seemed 
merely one of the studs intended to give sohdity to the 
structure. Lord Edmund grasped the hammer, swung it 
above his head, and let it fall with a tremendous stroke on 
the bolt-head. Loud was the clang ; and as it died away, 
almost with the sound of a solemn and deep-toned note of 
music, the lid rose, and discovered the contents of the 
chest to the gaze of the startled lord. 

Within, extended at full length, was a suit of gorgeous 
armour, disposed in the attitude of the sculptured effigy on 
the tomb of the last Baron of Fauconville. The gauutleted 
hands were raised as in prayer, and the vizor was down. 
The casque was surmounted by a noble plume ; the cross- 
handled sword lay by the figure's side, and a shield hung 
at its feet. 

The armourer was the first to break the silence. 

" Such a figure. Lord Edmund, was thy father on that 
day when he overthrew Sir Richard de Lcnorde. That 
armour was treasured for the heir of his house. See, I 
have kept it faithfully; there is on it no spot. In the 
sack and ruin of the castle, I saved this from the spoiler's 
hands." 

As if under the influence of a magic spell, or as if he 
expected to view his father's form beneath the mail, the 
young lord, with a tender but eager hand, raised the 
polished breast-plate. A scroll of silver only lay in the 
hollow. It bore this inscription — 



86 EVENINGS AT H ADDON HALL 

'tTis tl)c Iijningc of ll)is maile 
Z\)ti\. must mate its migl)tG abailt. 

" The lining ! " cried the youth, as the meaning of the 
couplet flashed on his mind ; " yes, the heart it covers, 
not the steel itself, — the hand that grasps this sword, not 
the inanimate blade, must win the victory. 1 am ready to 
fulfil my part. Stephen, do thine. Come, encase my body 
in this mail.^' 

" Nay, my good lord, there is time yet. These games 
are some days distant.^' 

"As did my noble father, so will I. By the cross, I 
swear, this armour shall not leave my limbs till it is taken 
fi'om my corse, or I have restored the fortunes of my 
house!" 

As the young lord spoke, his resolve inspired his fea- 
tures, lent fire to his eye, and, thrilling in his breast, ex- 
panded his whole frame with energy. The armourer saw 
that was no time for remonstrance or advice. Piece by 
piece, he encased his young lord's graceful and noble figure 
in the brilliant steel, light, yet brought to the finest temper, 
and polished as the purest mirror. Hammer and pincers 
closed the rivets fast. The transformation seemed hardly 
less wonderful than those recorded in the fables of old ; 
the peaceful dress gave place to the guise of full-armed 
war. Completely locked u]) in the suit of steel. Lord 
Edmund moved with dignity and ease, and raised the 
cross-handled sword to his lips to seal his oath. The 
kneeling armourer would have placed the gold spurs of 
his father to the youth's heels — 

" Not yet — not yet, good Stephen, I have to win them 
first. By the grace of God and the Virgin, they shall not 
long be wanting. Prepare for my journey. See that I 



THE TOURNAMENT. 37 

g:> with the state befitting the Baron of Fauconville. Let 
these old walls see me ride forth in pride, as did my ances- 
tors. If my train be scanty, there is more need for me to 
enlarge it. Let those beware who would stand between me 
and my birthright. On the second morning from this 
day, Stephen, I depart.^' 

Again it was evening when the lovers met. But the 
sun shone no longer for them as formerly. Shades of fear 
and mistrust had gathered around their future. Lord 
Edmund was cased in steel, and felt not the gentle pres- 
sure of the hand of his betrothed. He answered her ear- 
nest entreaties — 

" Dearly as I love you, Alice, all your persuasions are 
in vain. I have had visions of this horn- before, but they 
were visions only of brightness. I dreamt of glory to be 
won without pain. Now I feel that the path I have to 
tread is a harsh one, but 1 will not shrink from it ; the 
honour of my name must be vindicated ; it is better I 
should die, than that its lustre should be tarnished.*' 

" Why should you expose yourself to needless peril 
by going to the court, where the enemies of your house 
are so powerful ? Remain here till the king requires your 
service in a foreign land ; the delay cannot subject you to 
reproach.'^ 

" You are mistaken, Alice ; there is not a vassal of my 
father's house, whose silence does not cast bitter scorn on 
my inaction. I understand their moody manner now. 
Why was there no friend to inform me earlier of this cruel 
truth?'' 

" For what good end could you have known it, Ed- 
mund ? Other families have suflFered as greatly, — ay, 
much more than thine. Your face is darkened ; yet recol- 



429087 



38 EVENINGS AT HADDON HALT. 

Icct, in those pitiless vars lio'.v readily men (l(;vote(l each 
other to death — how little of nierey was shown on either 
side." 

" Peace, Alice, peace, for mercy's sake ; your accents, 
sweet and gentle as they are, put me to torture. I know 
what you would say. Your father sheltered my child- 
hood. Well, but he repaid himself by my inheritance. 
He protected my youth. True, but he believed he had 
nothing to fear from me. He let us love, Alice, caring 
nothing for the bitterness of this hour," 

" You repent your love. You would have me absolve 
you from your vow. So be it ! I have strength as well 
as you, Edmund." 

" No, Alice, no, as Heaven is my judge ! I love you 
dearer, purer, truer than ever. But a blighted name you 
shall never share. There are friends of my house around 
Edward's throne. They believe me a fool or a coward ; for 
rumour has been busy in throwing shame upon me. When 
I appear in arms, that shame shall be dispelled; my sword 
shall hurl the slander down the throats of those who dare 
to breathe it." 

" Most of all, do I fear a quarrel between you and my 
brother. He is hot in temper, and stands high in Ed- 
ward's favour." 

" That is well. He will assist me, then, to recover my 
heritage." 

" Let the king decide that. But, Edmund, you will 
shun Raoul ? Promise me only that, and I will see you 
depart with less pain." 

On the part of the young lord there was a momentary 
hesitation, and it was easy to see, from the heightened 
colour of his brow, that strong passions were working 
within his breast. At last he answered, — 



THE TOURXAMENT, 39 

" I will neither shun nor seek liini^ Alice. For your 
dear sake, I will give him no occasion of quarrel. And 
should we meet in the lists, what then ? You hear how 
old Stephen despises the bloodless contests of these days. 
Calm jiaur fears, love. Dark and terrible is the cloud that 
has come upon us ; but who knows how soon it may break, 
and reveal again the pure sky? I hold you to your pro- 
mise. To-morrow you will see me depart." 

With that they separated. 

Forth went the rumour round the country that on the 
JBaptist^s morning the Baron of Fauconville would ride 
from his castle in state to King Edward's tournament. 
Various were the emotions this intelligence excited. The 
adherents of the house of De Lenorde heard it with incre- 
dulity and ridicule, not unmingled with a feeling of fear. 
The old vassals of Fauconville were clamorous in their 
expressions of joy and triumph, and scrupled not to avow 
their belief that the time was come for the restitution of 
their house to its ancient splendour. Anxiety and expec- 
tation brought to the castle-yard a large assembly, who 
beheld with some surprise an image of the former fame 
and power of the barony in the preparations made. Some 
dozen of well-appointed men-at-arms stood ranged around 
the ground, ready to mount horse at their lord^s com- 
mand. A herald, with the arms of the Fauconvilles richly 
blazoned on his coat, and mounted on a gay steed, was 
giving orders for the departure^ and a crowd of old retain- 
ers were preparing to welcome with applause the approach 
of their lord. If there was nothing grand in these ar- 
rangements, they were yet more imposing than had been 
looked for. Whatever was done, was in excellent order, 
and no more had been attempted than could be properly 
effected. 



40 EVENINGS AT 11 ADDON IT ALL. 

Fio'n the domestic apartments of the castle a door led 
to a balcony, which had formerly been distinguished for 
its rich gothic tracery : much of its ornament still re- 
mained, and it bad been newly fitted with crimson cloth. 
Those most experienced in the past history of the house 
])ointed out this balcony to their younger auditors, and 
told how in old times the lady of the castle had there 
stood to take leave of her lord, and to watch his departure 
through the castle postern, till he was lost to view in the 
woodland of the plains. 

The faithful Stephen, with joints too stiflF for active 
motion, remained beside this balcony, watching with keen 
eye that nothing was wanting in this hour, which he knew 
would be so eventful in the life of his lord. His grand- 
son, a fair boy, partly supported the aged man, whose 
pride helped to keep him erect and stern. His two sons 
were in the young baron's train. 

The hour of departure had arrived, and the herald 
sounded a cheerful blast on his trumpet, which, waking 
echoes so long undisturbed in the neighbourhood of those 
walls, filled the heart of every Fauconville with triumphant 
expectation. At the instant, Lord Edmund, mounted on 
a noble and completely ap])ointed war-horse, rode into the 
yard. Two pages were at his side, one with a goblet of 
gold, the other bearing a light steel cap, rapier, and gloves 
for use in his journey. To the affright of some, and the 
amazement of all, the Lady Alice entered the balcony, to 
bid her knight " God speed.^' With graceful courtesy 
the young warrior urged his steed to the place where she 
stood. There was a momentary parting, and some words 
said of sweet delight, which brought the red blood briehtly 
to the lady's face. In her aspect, hope seemed to nave 
part, though her eyes were downcast and her hands 



THE TOURNAMENT. 41 

clas.^ed. The page presented his lord with the cap, 
gauntlets, and rapier he bore. The young baron cast 
them to the ground. " Thus," he said, " will I travel, — 
in this guise will I remain till my fame as a knight will 
allow me to lay aside my father's helm and sword." He 
stooped to raise the goblet presented him on a salver, 
touched it with his lips, then waving for the last time his 
hand to his betrothed, he set forth with high and gallant 
bearing on his dangerous mission 

Never had the English court been more gay than in 
the period immediately preceding King Edward's pro- 
jected invasion of France. The horrors of civil strife were 
over, and the whole kingdom rejoiced in its return to 
peace and security. The beauty of ladies, the valour and 
grace of knights, again became the theme of troubadours. 
Banquets and revels succeeded to strife and intrigue. 
The halls of royalty, brilliantly illuminated, echoed to the 
ring of joyous laughs, the tread of light feet, the strains 
of sweet music, the whispers of devoted love. Again 
quaint masques and gorgeous pageants enlivened the 
night, and tourneys, jousts, and other martial exercises, 
gave entertainment to the day. All appearance of mourn- 
ing was banished : the dresses found most favour that 
were most rich and fantastical. In hall and bower there 
fluttered the rarest materials, the gayest colours. Men 
said that the age of gold had at once succeeded to the age 
of iron, so gay, splendid, and luxurious, was the monarch's 
reign. Whoever was distinguished for courtly accom- 
plishments and grace of person found ready favour in the 
king's eyes. Full of his projected invasion of France, he 
sought to collect round him the most ardent and bravest 
spirits of the realm. The adherents of Lancaster ceased 



42 EVENINGS AT HADDON HALL. 

to be objects of suspicion ; their cause was utterly lost ; 
its princes cut otf, its chiefs slain, its iiopes and resources 
alike gone. The victorious Edward reigned without fear, 
and was inclined to show himself the king of the nation 
rather than of a party. 

Accomplished in all knightly exercises, beautiful in 
person, gay, young, and graceful, the monarch delighted 
in all the pomp and pageantry of the tournament. He 
had ordered one to take place with unusual magnificence 
at Westminster, and had invited all persons of gentle 
blood to take part in it without distinction. Regulations 
were issued to protect the combatants from unnecessary 
danger, as the king wished the pageant to be distinguished 
by superior address and agility, rather than by the number 
of combatants slain and maimed. The gallant youth of 
the kingdom looked forward to the martial show without 
the slightest apprehension for the result, and fair ladies 
anticipated the display of their lovers' heroism and splen- 
dour, without dread that they would be thrown lifeless to 
the plain before their eyes. 

The pageant was graced by the presence of King 
Edward himself, who, with his beautiful queen, Elizabeth, 
sat prepared to award favour to the successful knights. 
The spacious amphitheatre of seats which had been pre- 
pared was crowded with fair and noble spectators, who 
manifested their interest in the exercises by the bursts of 
applause with which they rewarded unusual dexterity. 
The better to prevent accidents, barriers were placed in 
the arena, on each side of which the combatants were to 
run, that they might avoid those fierce shocks of horse to 
horse and man to man, which, in former times, had so 
often been attended with fatal consequences. 

The tournament was to last three days. To accom- 



THE TOURNAMENT. 



43 



modate the crowd who desired to take part in it, the king 
ordered that no ki.ight should combat on more than one 
day, and that each day should have its victor. The three 
conquerors were allowed to demand boons of the king, 
such as a great monarch might grant ; and as it was 
known that on such occasions Edward was profuse in his 
liberality, the fortunate knights might well hope to gain 
the highest prizes in the gift of the crown to bestow. 

Near the person of the king there sat one lady, whose 
bold and brilliant beauty attracted universal homage. Her 
countenance bore the aspect of that high command acquired 
by distinguished birth and early indulgence. Her eyes 
were dark, lustrous, quick, glancing, and full of passionate 
fire. Her voluptuous mouth and ripe lips, and her cheeks 
suffused with lively colour, gave to the haughty fair one 
an appearance of almost masculine beauty, but that her 
bust was so full and swelling, and that her raven hair fell 
in the richest profusion of waves about her neck. One 
seat lower, at her feet, was a gentleman in the prime of 
manhood, dressed in the richest style of that extravagant 
period, but whose natural nobility of look and goodly 
form carried off the bravery that might have made another 
appear ostentatious. He was in conversation with the 
proud lady, his face turned admiringly to hers. 

" Do you tilt to-day, Sir Raoul ?" she asked. 

" Good troth, I know not whether any knight will 
appear worthy my lance. ^' 

" What ! do you esteem your skill so highly V 

"Nay, I rate not myself. Do you name one who 
has gained an advantage over me, and I will abandon to 
bim the right of basking in your smiles." 

" Well, Sir K.aoul, I shall remember your words ; and 



44 EVENINGS AT HADDON HALL. 

when I sec a chaiiij)ioii worthy your might, then will 1 
Kumiiion you to horse." 

" And then will I j)rove myself worthy your favour." 
" You will obey my command, to tilt or to refrain V 
" Most faithfully : the Lady Elgarva shall be mistress 
of my actions, as she is of my heart." 

The haughty beauty exercised her privilege capriciously. 
Many spears were fairly shivered that day, many an adven- 
turous youth was hurled from his saddle into the dust 
of the arena ; yet, though continually fresh knights 
crowded forward, she kept Sir Raoul at her feet till a stout 
knight. Lord William Andlcy, was proclaimed the victor. 

Those who chose to conceal their titles were at liberty 
to do so ; yet, though the practice was generally adopted 
of choosing some motto or characteristic denomination, 
the combatants seldom failed to be recognised by their 
arms or manner ; for those who were accustomed to such 
exhibitions could as readily detect a knight by his horse- 
manship or bearmg, as in these days an author is recog- 
nised by his style, or an actor by his voice, whatever 
masquerade he may assume. But on the second day, a 
young warrior appeared in the lists, with a plain shield, 
terming himself " L'Ineonnu," who baffled the specula- 
tions of those who boasted a knowledge of every good 
lance in the kingdom. This young unknown, slight in 
figure, but of most graceful bearing, and gorgeously 
armed, obtained a decisive advantage over the knight who, 
up to the period of his arrival, had maintained his good 
fortune against all comers. There were some stout and 
practised warriors who generously declined to combat 
with so youthful a champion ; yet he shewed that their 
forbearance was little needed. In three several encounters 



THE TOURNAMENT, 45 

with soldiers of high repute, he worsted them all, hurhug 
the last, Sir Thomas Aspinall, who boasted much of his 
might, with force to the ground. The king loudly ap- 
plauded the feat, and smiled upon the young victor as he 
rode routid the barriers. 

What prompted the graceful unknown, after each suc- 
cess, to single out the Lady Elgarva for his homage ? Was 
it her brilliant beauty, or was it that Sir Raoul de Lenorde 
was at her feet ? Had he forgotten so soon his vows to the 
lady of his love, the pi'omise he had given her, the scroll 
that indicated it was the heart and cause of the wai'rior 
that won his triumph more than lance or shield ? It was 
even so. In his hour of pride and victory, he saw only the 
enemy of his line ; revenge dictated his homage to the 
haughty beauty; every tribute of admiration he offered 
her was a challenge to the knight who looked admiringly 
into her eyes. Still the Lady Elgarva kept Sir Raoul in- 
active, though he fumed to contend with the audacious 
champion. The young victor bowed with grave dignity to 
the acclamations of the crowd, after his last and most sig- 
nal triumph, and bent low as the crest of his steed to the 
king's mark of admiration ; then he looked up to the gal- 
lery where the Lady Elgarva was seated, and respectfully 
lowered to her the point of his lance. The proud beauty's 
cheek was flushed, as the eyes of the whole assembly were 
bent towards her ; but her love of distinction was not yet 
satisfied. She spoke hastily to her lover, at her feet, — 

'' Now, quick, arm ! Meet this champion. He will try 
thy prowess !'' 

Sir Raoul sprang to his feet ; his arms and charger were 
at hand ; but before he was prepared, the king, wishing to 
spare L'Inconnu too severe a trial of his force, gave the 
signal fo:* the day's proceedings to end. Sir Raoul arrived 



46 EVENINGS AT II ADDON HALL. 

only ill time to sec the successful unknown again lower his 
lance to the Lady Elgarva, while he was proclaimed by the 
heralds the victor of the day. 

The contests of the third and last day were more 
numerous than on either of the preceding ones. Sir Raoul, 
fired by his disappointment, and the consciousness that 
Lady Elgarva's eyes were on him, early gained a supe- 
riority, and maintained it until the close of the contest. 
Those most experienced in martial exercises, and among 
them Edward himself, declared him to be one of the most 
accomplished soldiers in the realm. 

A magnificent banquet was prepared for the evening ; 
bui in the meantime the king ])repared to redeem his 
premise. The three victors were summoned before his 
throne, that the whole assembly might be witness with 
what readiness the king would grant whatever was de- 
manded of him. 

" What boon hast thou. Sir Raoul de Lenorde, faithful 
son of a faithful father, to ask of thy king, he will not 
freely grant? Speak thou, and speak all freely." 

" My liege, I beg of your grace's favour the hand ol 
the Lady Elgarva Montacute." 

" Ah ! St. George ! thou hast spoken well. The richest 
heiress in our gift ; whose lands, too, lie not far from thine 
own, and a queen for beauty. Richer gift never sovereign 
accorded to a subject. De Lenorde, she is thine ! Now, 
Lord AVilliam Audley, speak thou. I need not tell thee to 
ask fearlessly. Thy modesty, man, I know will not be a 
barrier to thy preferment." 

" Faith, your majesty, I have so great a love for youi' 
royal person, that I would fain be with you always. And 

)ur grace's master of the horse " 

Ho, enough. I woild I had entered the lists myself, 



THE TOUllNAMENT. 47 

rather than allowed thee to remain conqueror. Sir Ed- 
ward Ashley, here. Make out the patent ; Lord William 
Audley, my new master of the horse. This good soldier's 
bluntness has saved me a world of trouble in choosing from 
a crowd' of applicants.'' 

" Indeed, your grace/' answered the staid minister of 
the king, " I think there be never a place vacant but there 
are a hundred seeking to fill it." 

" And now, Sir L'Inconnu, since that is thy title, raise 
thy vizor ; show thy face to thy king, and ask, if it be thy 
will, a richer boon yet. What, so young and fair ! By 
the rood, if thou followest me to France, and wield thy 
lance there so well, thou slialt have a duchy of our new 
kingdom. Thy eye is as keen as a hawk's, and thy hand 
as true to thy aim as his stoop on the quarry. What, 
noble boy — for noble I'll swear thou art — is thy petition ?" 

"First, the honour of knighthood from your majesty's 
hand." 

Lord Edmund could hardly have presented a request 
which the king would have received with more pleasure. 
The monarch expressed surprise that he had not ah*eady 
received the accolade from a more renowned sword than 
his. Then as the youth knelt, the king questioned him of 
his name, heard it rather with satisfaction than displeasure, 
and bade him rise, Sir Edmund, Baron of Fauconville. 

" Now, ask again. I owe thy house no ill-will. Thy 
father died cruelly enough, as I have heard, before I drew 
sword. Thou art welcome to our presence. Say, what 
seal shall I put to thy allegiance ? What hast thou to ask 
from thy king ?" 

The youth again fell on his knee. 

"Justice, my gracious liege !" 

"Ah — how ? Youi words are wide." 



48 EVENINGS AT IIADDON HALL. 

" The restoration of my house's lands." 

The king bit his Yip angrily. These demands, which 
were becoming more frequent, perplexed him extremely, 
and for an instant he hesitated to reply. His petitioner 
eagerly watched the changes of the king's face, and seeing 
him still pause, poured forth a passionate appeal in behalf 
of his suit. 

" Good, my liege, pardon my too great boldness ! Hear 
me for an instant. ]\Iy father fought for the king he 
served, as I would combat for your majesty's right this 
hour. He met his foes faii-ly in the field ; he gave quarter 
where it was asked ; he slew no prisoners ; he struck no 
defenceless man ; when the battle was over, he gave his 
hand to his foe ; he fought with the chivalry your high- 
ness loves. The ancient foe of his house came against him 
treacherously and basely. To avenge a private quarrel, to 
wipe away a disgraceful defeat, he engaged your royal 
fathei*'s arms against my sire. What wonder that he fell ! 
He was murdered in cold blood ; his lands wei'e usurped by 
his enemy. Pretending to be my guardian, he stripped 
me of my heritage, and left me only a ruined castle, and 
as many roods of land as might support a yeoman. Your 
highness knows what part the house of Fauconville has 
played in this kingdom's history. The name must perish 
without your gracious aid ; I will not transmit it impove- 
rished and disgraced. My dread lord, 1 am careless of 
myself J I desire only my house's honour. Grant me this 
boon. Make men respect your j>ustice as they fear your 
might, and declare that the reign of vengeance is at an 
end.'' 

The king was moved by the earnest words of his 
petitioner. 

" Sir Raoul de Lenorde/' he said, " I have heard c( 



THE TOURNAMENT. 49 

this before. Restore to this young lord his lauds, and I 
pawn thee a king's word, thou shalt lose nothing by thy 
act." 

"My liege/' answered Sir Raoul, boldly, "his father 
dared to brand thy father as a traitor, and justly died. He 
should be thankful for the clemency that has spared him." 

The young lord's eye flashed with indignant fire, as 
he said — 

" Dost thou, the son of the spoiler, justify the robbery? 
Shame on thy false heart ! Was it for this I took thy 
hand?" 

" Had I not, boy," contemptuously replied Sir Eaoul, 
" been some moments too late for the combat yesterday, I 
would have quelled thy braggart spirit, and sent thee to 
beg cure of a leech, instead of lost lands from his high- 
ness." 

" Be silent, on your lives, I charge ye," commanded 
the king, as he rose. " Sir Raoul de Lenorde, see thou 
that our bidding is fulfilled." 

As the king turned to depart. Sir Ilaoul said, scorn- 
fully and aloud — 

" A be2;2;ar is a traitor's fit descendant !" 

" And this," exclaimed the young lord, quickly drawl- 
ing his mailed gauntlet from his hand, " the fit answer to 
such a taunt." 

He struck his rival with his steel glove as he spoke, 
fiercely across the mouth ; a stream of blood followed the 
blow. Swords were drawn ; but, at the king's conimandi 
bis guards promptly interfered, and the fiery youths were 
removed in custody to await the king's pleasure. 

Edward retired, enraged at the insult ofi'ered to his 
presence. For a short space he remained alone in moody 
displeasure ; then he summoned to him some of his chief 



50 EVENINGS AT HAnnON HALt. 

nobles, and announced his decision. As the rivak desired 
nothing so much as a personal encounter, he conunauded 
that, on the morrow, they should engage in mortal combat, 
in the arena that had witnessed their triunij)h and their 
quarrel. If the vanquished escaped with life, the king's 
decree was, that he should die by the hands of the execu- 
tioner. His estate was to be forfeited to the crown, and 
his title declared to be extinct. The friends of the two 
disputants heard this decision with awe ; yet as it appeared 
just to both, and moreover would gratify the monarch's 
love of show, no one dared dispute it. 

Heralds published abroad the king's pleasure, and an- 
nounced the approaching combat. Then was it seen how 
slight was the interest felt in a mere pageant compared 
with that entertained for the game in which life was to the 
victor, and death to the vanquished. The old taste of 
London for bloody encounters seemed at once to revive, as 
the news ran through the city that a mortal duel would be 
fairly fought before the king. The merits of the com- 
batants were keenly discussed, and places eagerly de- 
manded. The hearts of court ladies beat with anxious 
thrill for the event of the morrow ; each had her favourite, 
and such wagers as ladies lay were freely sported on the 
result. The barriers were to be dispensed with, the 
weapons were to be keen and sharp. All knew that 
one of the combatants must die. 

Never had lists been graced with a goodlier show of 
spectators. There was something superior even to novelty 
m the excitement of this combat. As nobles sat together 
in the balconies, as groups crowded in the space below, 
they ceased not averring to each other that one of the 
combatants must die. 

As it was told how gallantly they handled their weapons 



THE TOURNAMENT. 51 

— how nobly tliey rode — how fau'ly they had overthrown 
all opponents — how equally they were matched in skill 
and dexterity, it was still repeated that — one must die. 

When the enmity of their line was spoken of, and the 
calamities that flowed from it were numbered, — when it 
was related that these knights were the last of their race, 
— it was answered, the feud must now cease for ever, for 
that — one must die. 

The monks who attended to shrive the warriors and 
prepare them for the combat, exhorted them to leave no 
sin upon their souls, as on that morning — one must die. 

King Edward himself, as he sat in his chair of state 
that day, knew that the affront to his presence would be 
dearly expiated, for that of the offenders — one must die. 

The Lady Elgarva sat by the queen^s side, her white 
bosom heaving mth strange excitement, and her eyes 
darting keener lustre, as she whispered in the ear of her 
royal lady, that — one must die. 

Now, indeed, was the strife of four hundred years to 
terminate. Now, for the first time, the two sole repre- 
sentatives of their houses were to meet face to face, with 
the knowledge that the feud must end that day, and that 
of them — one must die. 

In the spacious galleries not one place was vacant, 
when the monarch and his train appeared. The arena was 
cleared, and all was announced to be in readiness. The 
king raised his hand, the marshal of the lists shook aloft 
his truncheon, the heralds sounded a charge, and amid the 
silence of death, the champions appeared from opposite 
sides of the barriers. 

The titles of the knights were read, and answered to 
with firm and steady voice. Each had his vizor up, and 



52 EVENINGS AT UADDON HALL. 

gazed steadily upon his opponent. They crossed from side 
to side, passing each other in the centre of the ring. Then 
it was seen how much more powerful in frame was De 
Lenorde, and how faint was the chance that his youthful 
antagonist could successfully meet his assault. As they 
almost touched, they gave one to the other a grave and 
courteous salute, while their noble chargers, as if this 
were a day of festive pride, shook the ground with their 
hoofs as they pawed it, and champed the bit and tossed 
the head till the white foam flew over their steel frontlets. 

The marshal, with his assistants, placed the knights in 
line directly face to face, and the steeds, when their posi- 
tions were assigned, seemed changed to marble, so stdl 
and motionless did they stand. Their riders took their 
spears from the hands of their squires. Lightly poised in 
their hand for a moment, and held aloof, they were then 
fixed in rest ; the vizors were drawn down ; the moment 
of conflict approached. 

The spectators drew their breath thickly ; some maidens 
turned pale, sickened, and slowly fell from their seats. 
There were none to heed or help them. Every eye was 
fixed on the arena, and on those motionless figures of man 
and horse. 

The marshal caught the king's eye ; it signified impa- 
tience. The truncheon was raised : the heralds sounded, 
once, twice — still there was no motion, — thrice — and as 
if lightning had descended from heaven, and animated 
those erect and splendid forms, they sprang at once into 
vigorous and rejoicing life ; the chargers bounded impe- 
tuously forward ; the earth trembled with the shock : they 
vnet in mid-way. 

There are sights of an instant — of a point of time too 



THE TOURNAMENT, 53 

minute to have a name — that are impressed for ever on 
the brain. Such a sight was the meeting of those noble 
youths. 

Each aimed at the crest of his adversar)'-, and each aim 
was true. Frightful was that crash of bounding life. The 
stout spears were shivered, but not before they had done 
their office. The helmets of the champions rolled far away, 
as the gallant steeds were thrown back on their haunches 
by the shock. Through the head and brain of the Knight 
of Lenorde went the well-directed spear-head, and borne 
back, he fell from his steed heavily, with his face to the 
dust. Firm in his saddle remained Lord Edmund, though 
not unscathed. The lance of his opponent, in carrjnng 
away his casque, had deeply gashed his throat, and his 
charger, freed from all control, carried him wildly round 
the barriers. 

They raised the dying man, and took the fainting victor 
from his saddle. Then there was a buzz and movement, 
and the king rose, disturbed by a tumult at his back. 
Frantic with haste and eagerness, the Lady Alice De 
Lenorde fell at his feet. She had come too late. The 
Lady Elgarva caught up her magnificent train, and 
proudly swept past the hapless girl, as she fell senseless 
to the ground. 

They bore the wounded lord to his paternal home, for 
there he was resolved to die. They laid him in that hall 
where he had first listened to the armourer's tale, when his 
heart was full of love and hope. He chose that chest for 
his bier, and his casque for his pillow. When told his 
wound was mortal, he refused to part with his coat of 
mail : in his harness would he die. He commanded that 
thus he might be laid beside his father. 



54 EVENINGS AT HADDON HALL. 

Priests broujrlit liiin the sacramental cup and the sig^i 
of redemption, and monks sang chants for his departing 
s(nd. The few faithful servants of his house were there, 
clamorous in grief, and some who claimed a dearer interest 
in him by birth, stood around him, and wept for the loss 
of so brave and true a knight. But the dying lord had 
voice and eye for one alone, — for that fair girl, the play- 
mate of his childhood, the love of his youth, who hung en- 
tranced above him, answering only with the sobs of a 
bursting heart his prayer for her forgiveness. One last, 
last kiss was their ])arting pledge of love, ere the priest 
bade the knight fix his failing sight on the emblem of sal- 
vation. He turned his head ; but when he no longer saw 
his beloved, darkness settled round him, and the monk 
who held the ready cup, raised his eyes, and said — 
" Peace be to his soul — he is dead." 

AVith a broken spirit, the Lady Alice retired to a con- 
vent. She lived only long enough to see the heritage of 
her father and her lover shared by strangers ; but the 
Lady Elgarva flourished for years in splendour and pride, 
the ornament of the court, and told, in after times, what 
noble rivals had contended for the light of her smile. 

" Well !" exclaimed the Lady Eva, looking round, ex- 
ultingly, at the conclusion of the foregoing story — " well, 
was I not right ? Are not those beautiful pictures tenfold 
more beautiful, now that wc know what they mean ? For 
we do know what they mean, through tliat story, better 
than all the explanations in the world could have taught us. 

" Come !" exclaimed she, after a pause, seeing that no- 
body volunteered to proceed with her project — "come! 
you shall be the next on my list of story-tellers," — turning, 
as she spoke, to the lady of a distinguished diplomatist, 



ANDRIANI. 55 

who sat near her. " We know that you can make pleasant 
stories, even out of painful subjects. Look at this poor 
prisoner ; he reminds me of your prisoner in Maurice of 
Saxony. Do tell us a pitiful story about him V And her 
soft eyes seemed to be suffused with tears as she looked at 
the picture. 

" But why, my pretty Eva," replied the lady so ad- 
dressed, " why desire to hear more on a theme, the mere 
mention of which has cast a melancholy hue on yoiir late 
happy face ? Let us pass by the prisoner, and go to some 
more pleasant subject." 

" Oh, no ! no ! " cried the enthusiastic girl ; " I like 
to be unhappy sometimes — I mean, in stories and books; 
it makes me so much happier afterwards. You must tell 
us a story of this poor captive." 

There was no reply to this earnest appeal from the 
lovely Mistress of the Revels ; and the lady to whom it 
was addressed, proceeded, after a bi'ief but thoughtful 
pause, to relate the story of 



ANDRIANL 

The numerous islands which lie scattered on the bosom 
of the beautiful Lago di Garda, were reposing under the 
cool shadows of a gloomy evening early in the September 
of 1259, while a soft breeze drifted at intervals dark and 
vapoury clouds athwart the moon, confounding in occa- 
sional and partial obscurity the cottages and buildings 
which were dotted along the shore, with the fi-uitful 
orange, olive, and the luxuriant vine, whose tender stems, 
bending under the burthen of their rich clusters, twined 
and interlaced themselves in graceful garlands and festoons 



56 EVENINGS AT HADDON UALL. 

from branch to branch of the mulberry groves, which were 
^ouped around these lovely retreats. A small and lowly 
islet, situated apart from its more conjrroiratcd neighbours, 
presented no other habitation — and, indeed, its circum- 
scribed limits admitted none of greater pretension — than 
a rude shed, canopied by a clump of pines, from the rough 
hewn logs of whose paternal arms it had been fashioned, 
apparently without the aid of any other implement than 
the woodman^s axe. This cabin not unfrequently afforded 
temporary shelter to the fisherman, while perseveringly 
watching his carefully-laid nets and baited lines, till the 
dawn should decide his success, and probable gain for the 
coming day, by the fortunate capture of the dehcious 
carpione. The south wind moaned capriciously and by 
soft gusts, like the sobbing of wayward infancy, among the 
tall flags and rushes which girded this islet, bending their 
pliant spear-like forms till their taper tips, in their rustling 
obedience to the breeze, kissed and rippled their dark and 
watery bed, scaring from sedgy nooks and mossy banks 
the wild water-fowl, which, startled as the waving reeds 
grated above them or swept their drowsy pinions, dived 
and darted from their osiery lairs in search of a haven 
more secure from the molesting sounds which invaded 
them. ^Moving lights from the villas were dancing, like 
wandering meteors, upon the ruffled waters, when a man 
issued from the hut, and with crossed arms planted him- 
self against the trunk of an ilex, which the lightning 
of the summer^s storm had not spared, and patiently 
mused, till one glimmering beacon from the mainland 
alone outlived its fitful companions. Disburthening him- 
self from his cloak, he cast it over his arm, and descending 
the grassy slope to the narrow landing-place, threw it into 
a small skiff which lay moored to the bank ; casting a rapid 



ANDRIANr. 57 

glance over the wide waters, he lightly bounded nito the 
bark, and pushing it from the shore, rowed swiftly in the 
direction of the signal, for the appearance of which he had 
been so anxiously watching. Before he had passed more 
than two-thirds across the lake, the beacon-light wavered, 
and was scarcely perceptible. Resting upon his oars, he 
surveyed the distance he had yet to make, then untied a 
handkerchief from his neck, which he tore in half, and 
muffling the filling of his sculls, pursued his course. The 
cottage which it was his object to attain lay about two 
hundred yards from the margin of the lake, and some three 
or four miles above the castle of II Garda. Humble as it 
was, and poor as its appearance bespoke its inmates, con- 
cealment seemed to be their main care, for, with the aid 
of evergi'een shrubs and climbing plants, it was nearly 
hidden from observation. To judge by the countenances 
and movements of those inhabiting this isolated dwelling, 
poverty was around them, but peace of mind did not 
lighten the evil ; for penury, apparently, was the least of 
their anxieties for the future. A hale, though elderly man, 
whose garb denoted him to be a fisherman, was measuring 
a small chamber with impatient strides ; the net which 
he had commenced repairing was thrown aside, for his 
uneasy thoughts evidently did not admit of any continuous 
occupation. Every now and then, he stopped short, and 
placing his hands at each side of his face to shade his eyes 
from the bright-burning lamp within, looked forth from 
the casement, which commanded a view of the waters. A 
maiden was seated somewhat apart from him ; her face was 
buried in her outspread hands ; their whiteness, with the 
delicacy of her form, proclaimed her peasant's dress to be 
rather a disguise than the accompaniment of her station. 
Although her face was concealed, and for many minutes she 



68 EVENINGS AT IIADDON HALL. 

did not vary licr posture, lu-r ready car was evidently 
watchful of, and took in every sound. When her com- 
panion closed the casement with an exclamation of impa- 
tience, a heavy sigh told of intense disappointment; that 
sigh was responded to by a female, who arose from her 
spinning-wheel, and laying aside her distaff, approached 
her husband ; for such he was. Gently touching his arm 
she whispered, " You arc a poor comforter, my Giovanni ; 
doubtless, he waits and watches until others arc at rest." 
Then, herself advancing to the window, she again drew 
him towards it, and pointed to a dark object which was 
gliding close in shore. Answering to her quiet intimation, 
he replied, "It is not he;" then hurriedly lifting his cap 
from the table, and removing the light further from the 
window, unbarred the door. 

" Oh, do not leave us, good Giovanni ! " cried the 
maiden, starting to her feet, while her dark eyes were 
earnest with fear and entreaty. " If the doom with which 
I am menaced were death only, I would say. Fly, and 
leave me to my fate ; but you well know it will be worse 
— oh, ten thousand times worse than death, Giovanni!" 

Here terror usurped her power of further speech, and 
contracted her brow with agony. She clung wildly to 
him. Eespectfully he raised the distracted suppliant from 
his shoulder, and, in a tone of mingled tenderness and 
reproach, said, "Leave you, signora ! — have I deserved 
such a suspicion ?" 

" Oh, I mean not thus," she replied, energetically and 
hurriedly ; " for well I know that to succour me you are 
ever heedless of your own safety : alreadj', to protect me, 
you have left all, and by your unshaken fidelity to the sur- 
vivors of our crushed house, you have lost all. Reproach I 
Oh ! no, no ! " 



ANDRIANl. 59 

" Speak not thus, signora ! I have done my duty ; I 
have fulfilled my promise. But no more of this, dear lady ; 
suffer me to quit you for a few moments only. Our bea- 
con-light may have induced the brave Andriani to believe 
that he could join us with safety, and I much doubt if 
there are not watchers at this moment to intercept him." 

An impatient tap at the window further alarmed the 
group, and the trembling girl was almost sinking to the 
floor with affright. Giovanni paused, and bent forward in 
a listening attitude. "Open for Andriani!" were the 
welcome sounds which reached his ear. He lost no time 
in admitting the visitor ; but a stranger presented himself, 
and dread again pervaded the party, who feared to ques- 
tion the intruder. The open and anxious expression, how- 
ever, of his fine features assured Giovanni, that, unac- 
countable as his appearance among them at such a moment 
might be, he did not come unwarranted, or with any hos- 
tile purpose. 

Albina, who was still clinging to Giovanni's arm, raised 
her eyes to him, and demanded, in tremulous accents, 
"Are you come to aid?" 

" I am indeed, fair lady ; but there is little time for 
explanation. By Andriani's desire I have closely watched, 
in Verona, the movements of him who there holds sway. 
His secret purposes are well known to me. Thus, being 
apprised of your peril, I prevailed with the boatman to 
allow me to steer the bark which now lies moored to the 
willow by the shore, and which is destined, when Eccelino 
and his followers have secured you, to carry you down the 
lake. He has chosen this method for your transportation 
in order to screen from his wife and from the public eye 
an act of lawless violence, which might lead to further con- 
spiracies against his power and life.'' 



50 EVENINGS AT HADDON HALL. 

Giovanni sti-uck bis forehead, and looked upon Albina 
in despair, at a loss how to evade the immediate danger 
whieh seemed to menace them. 

" Thus," answered the young stranger, responding to 
his thoughts; "we must secure the boatman, and make 
good speed up the lake. At the foot of the mountains we 
shall find the assistance which Andriani, whom I have for- 
warned, has doubtless provided for this emergency." 

"Ready !" replied Giovanni, with energy, at the same 
time thrusting a stiletto into his belt, and taking down a 
broad-sword, which hung from the wall, concealed behind 
his cloak. 

" Oh, take me with you !" cried Albina, again appeal- 
ing to her protector, and looking imploringly in his face. 

" Are you prepared," he asked, " to witness strife, per- 
haps bloodshed, signora? — But hark!" A hasty step, 
and the watchword, "Andriani," scarcely preceded the 
entrance of our islet boatman. 

" Thanks — thanks!" he said, pressing the stranger's 
hand. "Albina, w^e must fly!" The appeal was an- 
swered by her throwing herself into his arms. The pre- 
vious intention of the party was briefly explained to him. 

" Hold !" he exclaimed, as th?v were leaving the cot- 
tage ; " wc need not this delay. Your weary and slumber- 
ing companion, my friend, is bound hand and foot in his 
bark, and both are by this time far adrift ujjon the lake, 
his sculls broken, and scattered on the waters. Farewell, 
Giovanni ; we must trust to your adroitness to delay and 
mislead the tyrant." 

"While he said this, Giovanni took up the cloak which 
he had thrown aside, and with the aid of his wife care- 
fully folded it round their charge, who was quickly em- 
barked^ and the boat vigorously and rapidly plied up the 



ANDRIANI. Gl 

lake. They had scarcely departed, when the tramp of 
horses drew forth an exclamation from Giovanni; "The 
Virgin be praised — they will miss their aim!" 

He had time only hastily to resume his net, and Benita 
her distaff, when Eccelino and his followers biarst into the 
cottage, filled the small apartment, and Eccelino, advanc 
ing, cried, " Arise, old man ! " 

Giovanni did as he was bid, at the same time feign- 
ing surprise at the unwelcome intrusion. He carefully 
gathered up his net, and hung it over the wooden bench 
on which Benita was sitting, then coolly eyeing his unbid- 
den visitors, bowed to their leader. 

" What is the signer's pleasure ?" he demanded. " If 
he comes in quest of fish from our lake, I am sorry to say 
that I can neither supply a carpione for his supper, nor 
earn my own breakfast for the morrow," pointing to the 
rent net. 

" You know better, fellow ; men come not armed to 
barter for fish. A^Tiere is the maiden who abides here — 
the famed bandit's sister ? It is her we seek." 

" No maiden harbours here," he replied, with a look ol 
astonishment ; " the signor is mistaken." 

" It is false, knave ! You shall pay for this." And 
seizing Giovanni by the collar, he shook him rudely, and 
bade him precede him in his search through the premises, 
while he sent two of his men to the shore. 

" You see, signor, I spoke truly ; the maiden whom 
you seek is not \mder this re ^f." 

" Then thou knowest, knave, of her hiding or escape ; 
either, doubtless, of thy contriving." 

"You wrong me, signor," he answered, respectfully. 
"My faithful Benita and my net are all I possess." 

" He speaks falsely ! " cried one of the tyrant's mymiw 



62 EVENINGS AT HADDON HALL. 

dons. "The boat sent nnder ]\Iatteo's caie rides over 
the waters at the will of the waves." 

" Old man, you shall speedily answer for this false- 
hood ! Bind him, fellows ! " eried Eccelino ; " let him be 
food for tlic fishes." 

"As I hope for the Holy Virgin's protection," cried 
the now terrified Giovanni, " I have not left my cottage 
since noon to-day ; busy in repairing the fractures of my 
net — the only means of my subsistence, — I have neither 
found leisure to launch a boat nor handle an oar. Spare 
me, I beseech you ! " 

Giovanni did not expect the mercy which he craved 
from a man who notoriously never showed any. He cast 
a significant glance from the net to his wife, who, alert to 
his purpose, lifted it from the bench and placed it over 
his arm. A whispered communication, as she did this, 
passed between them, and she fled from the cottage. The 
old man now stood more resolute and erect, while a smile, 
almost amounting to defiance, curled his lip. 

"As I left the shore," chimed in again the former 
speaker, " two men were manfully rowing a skiff up the 
lake, but were then scarcely a mile from the land." 

" Doubtless," observed Giovanni, calmly, " they were 
fishermen, anxious to cast their net before the troubled 
waters shall render their labour useless. We poor fisher- 
men," he added, " are obliged early and late to pursue our 
calling; for ours is a precarious subsistence, hanging upon 
the chances of wind and weather." 

" Ha ! ha ! you are plausible, old man ; but it will not 
avail you. Speak out, 'tis the only hope I give you for 
your life." 

" Signor," he replied, " I trust not so, for how could I 
foretcl your purpose or your coming ? Bear me blame- 



ANDRIANI. 63 

less, I beseech you, and seek her, for whom you inquire, 
elsewhere." 

Eccelino, whose dark features were working with wi'ath, 
deigned no reply to this appeal ; but, turning to his men, 
who were grouped around him, pointed to Giovanni and 
repeated his command. 

" As he will not speak, do my bidding, fellows ; and 
then to horse.'^ While he was uttering this sentence, 
Giovanni had been imperceptibly gathering his net in his 
right hand, his eye continuing steadily fixed upon the 
speaker, from the hard lines of whose countenance, which 
grew sterner and sterner, he saw that further parley or 
remonstrance would be instant death. As the men ad- 
vanced to obey and seize him, he sprang suddenly upon 
the table, and casting the net dexterously over the by- 
standers, at the same time kicked the lamp to the other 
side of the room, and without a pause, darted through the 
casement. 

The rowers exerted their utmost efforts ; the wind was 
rising each moment, the waters became more and more 
disturbed, and threatened to swamp their light bark. Few 
words were spoken. Albina, reclining at the bottom of the 
boat, and, drenched with the spray which continually broke 
over them, endeavoured, with straining eyes, to penetrate 
the gloom which was increasing on all sides, and assure 
herself that they were not pursued. At lengthened inter- 
vals the pale-faced moon, for a few brief moments, shone 
forth, as if, by her transitory light, she would display to 
them the rising surges around them, and their consequent 
danger ; then merging herself again behind piled moun- 
tains of dense and purple clouds, left them to combat with 
their peril, without a beam by which to steer their course. 

The dreary prospect thus momentarily presented to 



64 EVKNINGS AT UADUON HALL. 

their view, served the more to stimulate tlie energies of the 
unflinching boatmen to continued and increased exertion. 
They well knew that as yet the troubled waters were only 
lashing themselves into the utmost terror of their fury, and 
that when the acme of their foaming rage should overtake 
theii* light bark, which for some time they had with diffi- 
culty steered across the agitated waves, it must till and sink 
in the storm. 

On the morrow, perhaps, the blue waters would array 
themselves in sunny smiles, and calmly ripple over the 
victims of their wanton anger, as if in mockery of human 
weakness when contrasted with their now overwhelming 
power ; then, in playful gambols, cast their lifeless prey 
from their cold embrace, and convince the ruthless tyrant, 
who would ca])ture to destroy, that his passions were 
baulked, and his cruelty forestalled. 

Rapidly-following flashes of lightning were succeeded 
by, and left them in, total darkness ; the distant thun- 
der rolled and echoed among the rocky mountains ; the 
boatmen, in tenderness to their helpless charge, were 
silent, nor did Albina impede their strenuous exertions by 
expressed terror or useless complaints. One involuntary 
exclamation alone escaped her, as a flash of forked light- 
ning, which swept along the whole range of the horizon, 
and rendered every object for a moment perfectly visible, 
blinded her. 

"Thank Heaven !" exclaimed Andriani, as the tran- 
sient illumination left them, " we are under the lee of the 
mountains." They had, indeed, nearly gained the head of 
the lake, and were entering into smoother water. By the 
repeated and vivid flashes which danced and played on 
every object around, they descried figures moving on the 
shore. To this point they steered. 



AXDRIANI. 65 

" Hold ! tliey see us," cried Leonisio, h ying his hand 
on the arm of Andriani, who was preparing to give the 
signal of their approach. While they were yet some yards 
distant from the intended spot of their disembarcation, two 
troopers, with led horess, dashed into the water, breasted 
its violence, and gained the boat. 

" Either this is a frantic freak, Antonio," said Andriani 
to the foremost man, " or immediate danger has prompted 
it." 

" The latter,'^ quickly replied Antonio. " Mount, and 
haste away. Our scout reports that they will soon be 
upon us. I have posted our party in advance, to parry 
their first attack ; they greatly outnumber us already, and 
doubtless their leader is not far behind." 

Andriani made no reply ; but, as Leonisio steadied the 
boat, lifted Albina on one of the led horses. " Now you, 
Count, to the saddle, and follow ; to your protection I trust 
Albina ; I will keep the jackals at bay, and head my faith- 
ful followers, who are prodigal of life and limb in my 
service." 

Leonisio hesitated. " My friend, it must be so," added 
Andriani ; " here you can do me little service ; in accom- 
panying and guarding her, much. Antonio will be your 
guide." 

Leonisio paused no longer, but springing on the animal 
held for him, gained the landing-place with his precious 
charge. A few strokes brought Andriani^s bark to the 
shore, and as few moments saw him armed, mounted, and 
in full career to join his band, repel the attack of his 
enemy, and cover the retreat of the fagitives. 

With desperate haste they urged on their flight ; heavy 
sighs were the only responses Albina was able to give in 
repl}'' to Leonisio's encouraging words. What torture of 

F 



36 EVENINGS AT UAUDON HALL. 

heart did the reflection biinp;, that the brave Andriani was 
left to stem the fury of that powerful and unrelenting foe, 
the scourging-rod destined for a time to lash Brescia, 
Padua, and Verona, and track his way with cruelty and 
bloodshed. Her companion answered to her tears and 
sighs, (for hers was the mute eloquence of grief,) by 
assuring her that Eccelino could not yet have joined the 
party he had sent forward early in the day, jiossibly to 
watch Andriani's movements, even if he intended to do so, 
which he doubted. His speech and tone were gentle and 
persuasive ; he warmed into enthusiasm when he spoke of 
Andriani's courage, forethought, and intelligence ; he fur- 
ther urged his presence of mind and aptitude at stratagem, 
qualities which had served him in many hair-breadth 
escapes and encounters, and would, he trusted, avail him 
now as they had done. Such arguments were judiciously 
brought forward by snatches only, when he found that 
Albina's grief and terror were enfeebling her frame. 

Day dawned as they reached the intricacies of the 
mountains, and they were obliged to slacken their pace ; 
for here a torrent, hissing, roaring, and tumbling through 
a deep ravine, was to be forded, there a perilous cleft, be- 
tween two perpendicular rocks, to be crossed. The inti- 
mate knowledge which their guide possessed of such passes 
alone ensured their safety : one false turn would have pre- 
cipitated them headlong to destruction. The storm during 
their progress had passed away, and the moon once more 
rode unclouded in the heavens. A stony steep at last 
brought them to the face of an overhanging rock, which 
rose hke a wall before them ; a sharp turn inwards round 
its angle, led them to a passage which did not admit two 
a-breast. At its termination, there was just gufficient 
room to turn their horses, and to pursue a still longer and 



ANDRIANI. 67 

narrower path wliicli fronted them, and which after ascend- 
ing and descending, introduced them, when the watchword 
had been given^ into a wide and open space, resembhng a 
iTide but roofless cavern ; for slanting rocks were still piled 
toppling a hundred feet above them. A mountain spring 
came leaping down the craggy heights ; then overflowing a 
T atural basin, crept away among the numerous fissures, to 
fill some cavern pool, or feed a never-failing stream. The 
day was breaking, as Albina was lifted exhausted from her 
horse, and consigned to the care of two females, who, like 
others, had fled with their husbands from Eccelino's barba- 
rity, to join Andriani's band in the mountains. One of 
the troopers had been sent back, when the fugitives had 
gained the narrower defiles, to seek his leader, and carry a 
report of their progress ; but when he reached the scene of 
the night skirmish, neither friend nor foe in life was there. 
Filippo found two of his comrades in the sleep of death ; 
one had expired clutching the throat of an enemy, with 
whom apparently he had been in contention when he re- 
ceived his own death-wound. He turned and wept, for it 
was his brother. A wretched peasant, who had come to 
glean a harvest from the dead, assisted him to bear the 
corpse to the bark which Andriani had left upon the shore; 
they sank the body in the deep water, cased in its heavy 
accoutrements, without a funeral rite, and then accorded to 
its gory companion and foe the same watery grave. The 
peasant could tell him nothing, for he had issued from his 
hiding-place after the fight was done. These melancholy 
obsequies performed, Filippo retraced his steps; as he 
gained the mountains, his companions gradually joined 
him j where was their leader ? Their downcast looks 
answered, " a prisoner." 

When Leonisio had arisen, he satisfied himself that 



68 EVENINGS AT HADDOV ALL. 

another outlet from their fastness existed, but too dangerous 
to be attempted, save in a case of utmost need. Seeing 
the band enter one by one, he anxiously waited to greet 
his friend ; but the despairing looks he encountered were 
heralds to the sad news they brought. Could they tell 
aught of him ? Only this, that, too eager to lead on his 
men, he had rushed a-head of them, was surrounded, and 
made prisoner. In this strait, he called to them to save 
themselves, and report to Leonisio his condition. Had 
Eceelino come up with them ? No ; but it was their belief 
that II Garda would be Andriani's prison. Leonisio turned 
mournfully away, and placing his foot on a projecting stone, 
for a few moments gave himself up to thought. His re- 
flections were soon matured ; he changed his position, and 
gazed upwards at the sun, which was shining brightly 
upon their retreat, then called the men around him. 

" A good omen,^' he said, cheerfully, pointing to the 
heavens; "refresh yourselves, my men; at nightfall, dis- 
perse near the passes, and wait until a signal shall call 
you together ; I must enlist two of you to accompany me ; 
Antonio, you must remain with sLx others to guard our 
charge." 

All who were not disabled volunteered their services, 
but lots were drawn. While Leonisio hastily broke his 
fast, a fresh horse was brought from one of the caves 
which opened upon this arena ; and with a heavy heart he 
again descended the mountain. 

Exhausted by fatigue, wounded and shackled, the un- 
happy Andriani lay stretched on his stone pallet, in a 
dungeon of the castle of II Garda. The fates had torn out 
the bright page of hope from the tablets of his future 
fortune, and the prospect of a scaffold was before him. The 



ANDRIANI. 69 

licentious tyrant — lie who in the plenitude of his abused 
power had ordered the execution of Count Bonifazio di 
Panego, his brave father, — the execrable Eccelino, the 
spoiler of his house and lands, would perpetrate the last 
act of the tragedy, and in his person extirpate his house 
and name. How impotent was he now to redress these 
wrongs ! how subdued, how crushed and sunk were those 
high aspirations which had goaded and sustained him 
to seek for restitution, retribution, or revenge ! The cold 
dew gathered on his brow like the unwholesome damps 
which exuded and were dripping from his prison walls. 
He clenched his hands in agony across his forehead, as he 
recalled the scenes of misery and bloodshed his young and 
innocent years had witnessed, and the narrow escape of his 
loved Albina from dishonour ; but he had saved her, nor 
did he doubt the devotion and fidelity of his followers, the 
friendship of Leonisio, or their united valour and endeavours 
to secure her preservation in those secret haunts and fast- 
nesses which had so long sheltered him; then other thoughts 
as tender, but more selfish, stole over his weary senses : the 
vision of his Fiorenza rose in her beauty before him ; her 
beaming eyes seemed to gaze in sorrow upon him, her 
parted lips to pour forth words of constancy and consolation 
to him. In airy dreams again he trod with her the tran- 
quil groves which had often witnessed their youthful sports; 
again he wearied his young voice in rivalry of song with 
hers ; then hanging their lute upon a branch of the sober 
cypress, which, clothed with dark, impervious foliage, 
spread widely its evergreen arms of fan-like form, whiled 
away the hours of noontide heat in listless indolence under 
its friendly shelter; or, wandering among the brakes and 
dells, sportively caught in their tiny palms the liquid gems 
which parted from the cascade above, broke upon the lower 



70 EVENINGS AT HADDON HALL. 

rocks, and daslud far and wide among the lichens, ferns, 
and creeping plants which trailed or waved their bright 
green leaves in contrast to their gray and stony cradles. 
Tiicn sterner visions invaded these peaceful fancies of 
childliood's hap])y and thoughtless spring-time days; blood 
and deadly strife were mixed with fantastic scenes of splen- 
dour; while gnawing reptiles fixed npon his heart, gro- 
tesque and horrid masks chased him round lordly courts 
and halls, through devious paths and mountain steeps to 
the brink of a precipice ; he groaned and awoke. A muf- 
fled figure with folded arms was standing beside his pallet, 
and \\ atcliing his countenance as each unreal and wayward 
fancy passed over it. His name pronounced aroused him ; 
he raised himself upon his elbow, and endeavoured to 
recognise the person before him, for surely it was a voice 
which had once been familiar to his ear — a voice whose 
friendly tones had relaxed into discord since the harmony 
of his own fortunes had been broken. 

" Andriani," repeated his visitor, " chance brought me 
to II Garda, as you were led a captive through its gates ; 
I have come to save you, if you will." 

" If you have the power to release me from the tyrant's 
clutches, Count Bonifazio, it must be done at your will, not 
mine ;" and he fixed his bright, keen eye upon him. 

" I will it, Andriani, if, without delay, you accede to 
my conditions; Eccelino knows not yet of your capture." 

" Name them. Count," he replied ; " I am not indif- 
ferent to life, and will puichase it on honourable terms." 

" Renounce, then, your contract with Fiorenza," said 
the Count, sternly. "Count Bonifazio's daughter shall 
never be the bride of an outlaw." 

" Does Fiorenza demand this of me ? Does she, too, 
abandon the oppressed and deserted Andriani ?" 



ANDRIANl. 71 

" She does, Andriani, for your life's sake — to spare 
the Count Panego's son from an ignominious death/' 

Andriani rose, his eyes flashed with the fiery resent- 
ment of his heart. " Did Panego's son, Count Bonifazio/' 
he demanded, energetically, " deserve an ignominious 
death, when, foremost among your followers, he fought 
by your side, — when, with your son, the brave Leonisio, 
more than once he defended your castle walls ? Did he 
deserve an ignominious death, when he cleft in twain the 
soldier whose sword was at your breast, and when anew 
you swore to keep inviolate his contract with Fiorenza? 
Was he an outlaw until you made peace with that tyrant, 
who, amidst the tears and lamentations of all Padua, sent 
the noble Panego to the scaffold ? who drove the per- 
secuted and forsaken Andriani to the mountains, to seek a 
precarious subsistence for himself and those true, though 
humble few who still faithfully adhered to him ? Has 
Andriani's arm slain the impotent and helpless ? Has 
Audriani's tongue given forth the barbarous fiats of torture, 
mutilation, and, after, death to the weak and defenceless ? 
Hath he constructed in his mountain holds horrible prisons 
and infernal machines for human sufi'ering, and torn the 
lacerated and quivering limbs from his innocent victims ? 
Hath he saturated each impress of his foot with blood, and 
made his name an accursed watchword for barbarity ? It 
is not the outlaw. Count, whose alliance you now scorn, but 
the beggar ! A beggar, beggared by that scourge and 
monster of mankind, your kinsman, Eccelino !" He 
paused, then in a hoarse tone added, " If Fiorenza re- 
nounces me for such heinous crimes, let her declare to 
Andriani that Andriani is unworthy of her pure love — 
let her denounce the proclaimed outlaw, and forswear he* 



7'Z EVENINGS AT HADDON HALL. 

often-plighted faith ; if she refuse this, there is truly but 
but one remedy." 

" Name it," cried Bonifazio, with eagerness, 

Andriaui approached him, and bending forward, whis- 
pered, " Send the son of your bosom friend to the ig- 
nominious death with which you threatened him ; his 
constancy and hers will well deserve such a punishment." 

The Count was staggered, and could find no reply. He 
knew that he had a noble heart and a lion spirit to deal 
with ; he could find no ready arguments to contravert the 
painful and ujjbraiding truths which had been spoken ; he 
turned away, and motioned as if to depart. Andriani 
watched his receding figure. " Hold, Count, yet one 
word ; you shall now hear mij conditions." 

The Count Kicciardo returned. " The love of life," 
he thought, " will yet subdue Andriani's haughty mind." 

They gazed for a few moments in silence at each other; 
the trace of passion and the flush of anger had passed from 
the prisoner's countenance ; he stood pale, but proud and 
erect, before the Count, who waited with impatience for 
his proposition. " S})eak quickly, young man, for time 
wears; by special favour from the governor, I have ob- 
tained access to you; I may not tarry." 

" Release me. Count," said Andriani, calmly. " Leo- 
nisio, mark me, has sworn to revenge my death ; release 
me. Count, for that time may come, when Andriani's arm, 
and Andriani's mountain horde, may serve you and his 
countrv well. I will not abandon my contract with Fiorenza, 
nor Fiorenza's love; neither, till better fortune — if I 
live — shall again invest me with Panego's honours, and 
Pancgo's lands, will I claim Fiorenza for my bride. I 
would live, but live with honour; I fear not death." 



ANDRIANI. 73 

" You trille/^ returned Count Bonifazio. " You for- 
get/' he added, with emphasis, "that death dissolves all 
contracts." 

" So it would appear, noble sir, for even your sworn 
friendship and brotherhood were buried in Count Panego^s 
grave." 

The Count winced ; the reproach stung him, and came 
home to his heart ; nor could he stifle the full remembrance 
of the oaths by which he had bound himself to protect the 
unfortunate prisoner before him, the son of his murdei'cd 
friend. He would fain save him, but upon his own terms. 

" You are mad I" he at last exclaimed. " When, like 
a wild bird, you chose the mountains for your haunts, why 
did you daringly quit their heights to mvade our peaceful 
valleys in search of prey V 

" Ha ! ha ! peaceful valleys, say you, Count ? — peace- 
ful valleys ? Know ye that the putrid atmosphere from 
your blood-stained lowlands, rises like a noxious vapour to 
taint and infect the pure ether of our cloudless skies ? 
You ask why did I leave my mountain-heights for your 
pestiferous valleys ? I will tell you, Count Ricciardo di 
Bonifazo," and he powerfully grasped the Count's arm. 
" I left them to save Count Panego's daughter from the 
wanton pursuit of Verona's ruler; to save her, that tongue 
should not report — that eye should not see — Albina di 
Panego the leman of her father's murderer. Yes, the 
eagle left his eyrie to snatch the innocent lamb from the 
vulture." As the last sentence left his lips, his nervous 
grasp on the Count's arm relaxed, his countenance assumed 
the hue of death, and he sank back on his pallet senseless. 

T\Tien Andriani awoke from his stupor, and feeblv 
raised his head, the lamp was newly trimmed, food was 
placed by his pallet, and his manacles removed. 



74 JCVKNINGS AT H ADDON HALL. 

Before Bonifazio bad entered liis dungeon, the pangs 
of hunger for some hours had gnawed him, and further 
spent by emotion, even bis liardy frame could endure no 
more, but sank, completely subdued. lie stretched liis 
hand to the pitcher of water, slaked his burning thirst, and 
eagerly devoured the provision at his side. The day was 
waning into night, but he had no guide to passing hours. 
He had slumbered, and ere the Count's departure, had 
been deprived of sense, but how long he had thus remained 
he knew not ; possibly, some kindly feeling had prompted 
Ricciardo to wait till he showed symptoms of recovery from 
his deadly swoon ; perhaps he tarried with the hope that 
he might never wake again ; for unless he would consent 
to abandon what was dearer to him than life, Fiorenza's 
love, the Count's interest did not tally with his preserva- 
tion, and then he thought how scenes of strife change men's 
minds — ambition unrestrained, their kindlier natures — 
how does it warp their first and better purposes ! 

He rose, and ascended the steps which led to the 
strongly-secured door, but no human effort could move it. 
He sat himself down upon the upper stair, his head bowed 
upon his bosom. The Count, doubtless, had left him to 
his fate, but would not Leonisio, when his men brought in 
news of his capture, seek him ? I'crhaps the knowledge 
of his captivity would only reach him when too late. But 
how useless were these reflections of mingled doubt/hope, 
and despair, to amend his condition ! 

"With a heavy sigh he once more returned to his 
wretched pallet, and, taking up his lamp, determined to 
examine the extent of his prison. As he did so, its light 
gleamed on the polished blade of a dagger, which pro- 
truded from his resting-place of stone and straw. A ray 
of hope again crossed his mind; he tried its edge; and 



ANDRIANI. 75 

minutely inspected it. The word "Hope" was barely 
discernible upon its bright surface. He placed it in his 
Dosom, and a thousand wild conjectures rapidly succeeded 
each other in his thoughts. Was this weapon conveyed to 
him to provoke his despair to suicide, or as a protection 
against secret assassination ? He would not believe that 
the Count, however anxious he might be to rid himself of 
his claims upon him, or however unwilling that the affi- 
anced husband of his daughter should be led to public 
execution, would instigate the one, or sanction the other 
atrocious measure. He was bade to hope. In what anti- 
cipation could he indulge, if the news of his capture should 
reach Eccelino ? for how would that tyrant exult if he could 
satisfy and satiate his own hatred and revenge upon the 
plea and show of justice ! In those deep vaults no sound 
could reach him ; there all was solitude and silence, nor 
did his lamp illuminate one third of his unexplored and 
spacious, but dreary prison. It was possible there might 
be some other available outlet, and he now proceeded to 
put into execution his intention, and ascertain its limits. 
He passed through numerous intersected arches, springing 
from short and heavy columns, doubtless, in part, sup- 
porting the castle towers above, until he arrived at the 
massy wall which enclosed him. With patient scrutiny, 
he held his lamp in every direction; his foot stumbled, 
the ground was no longer level ; it was a newly-made 
grave that had endangered his falling, and the consequent 
extinction of his lamp. He shuddered, and imagined him- 
self a partner in the same lone prisoner's grave, or one 
beside it. It had been made and closed, apparently in 
haste, for a pick-axe was lying close by, as if hurriedly 
cast aside. A small iron grating, immediately but high 
above this dungeon sepulchre, imparted new hope to our 



76 EVENINGS AT UADDON HALL. 

prisoner. AVith the iiiij)lenicnt so happily offered to his 
hand he contrived to excavate a footing, and assiduously 
bent all his force to remove the bars from their sockets. 
The work was nearly completed, one bar only remainmg 
before a free passage would crown his eflTorts, when ad- 
vancing footsteps told him how useless his labour had 
been. There was no time to quit his position, for two 
persons stood directly beneath him. The ponderous instru- 
ment was in his hand ; should he hurl it at them ? The 
aim was sure, and one thus disposed of, the other would 
soon succumb to his strength and prowess. He raised his 
arm, but before the fatal stroke was given, the lamp, which 
his supposed assailants had lifted from the grave, shone 
upon the upturned features of Leonisio ! With one bound 
Andriani was at the side of his friend — one sentence alone 
was exchanged — Albina was safe. Leonisio's companion, 
meanwhile, was examining the work which the prisoner 
had commenced. " Since the signor," he observed, " has 
opened this barrier, it may be a better and a safer way for 
us, and may hereafter save my neck, if I should fall into 
the governor's hands, by drawing suspicion from me as 
having aided in his escape." 

They lent their united efforts, the remaining bar was 
soon removed, and the party found themselves in a vault 
nearly resembling the one they had quitted. 

" Have you the key V demanded Leonisio, as he 
advanced to the door. His attendant looked blank. 

" And if I had,'' he answered, " there are strong bolts 
on the other side." 

" Then we must hew a passage through the walls, 
cried Andriani ; and with both hands he raised the pick- 
axe, which he still retained, above his head. 

The other arrested his arm. "Hist, Signor ! this 



ANDRIANI. 77 

prison has not of late been used, I bethink me the door 
may not be closed ;" at the same time he advanced before 
Andriani, and pulled at a strong iron ring, which was in- 
serted near the lock. The door yielded, and they entered 
a passage hewn in the solid rock. Singly and in silence 
they pursued its tortuous windings, which were at last ter- 
minated by a grated portal. Hei'e a justly-fitted key, pro- 
duced by their conductor, gave them exit upon a narrow 
and low platform, where a sentinel was making his solitary 
turns. Before the soldier had time to give the alarm, 
Andriani rushed upon him ; assisted by his companions, 
he disarmed, and thrust him within the passage, then 
closed and locked the grated door upon him. It was still 
dark when they descended the slimy steps which led to 
the water. Leonisio struck his sword sharply against the 
wall ; upon the repetition of the stroke, two boatmen 
appeared from behind the lee of a buttress, and quickly 
steered their bark alongside the rocky stairs. As the re- 
leased Andriani turned his eyes to look back upon the frown- 
ing aspect of the stronghold from which he had escaped, 
he breathed more freely : they gained the shore as the 
dawn began to break, and ere the sun had shed his full 
influence on the tops of the mountains, Albina was in 
Andriani's arms. 

Their escape had been too rapid to allow of observa- 
tion, question, or rejoinder. As they passed onwards, 
accox'ding to the preconcerted signal decided upon by Leo- 
nisio, the band by degrees left their hidden lairs, and con- 
gregated round their leader. Albina looked inquiringly 
in her brother's face ; bis exhausted condition and disor- 
dered appearance told plainly of some bygone fearful 
struggle, and her speaking eyes demanded an explanation 
which she dared not trust her voice to ask. 



J'S EVENINGS AT ll.VDDON HALL. 

"lie has saved me, Albitia," pointing to Lconisio; 
'' how, you must demand of him, my sister." 

" I would ask him," she repHed, " I would thank him, 
but my gratitude overmasters my power to do so." Her 
thick voice and falling tears confirmed the simple assertion. 
Leonisio looked upon her; he now saw her in all the 
freshness of her beauty, heightened by feeling and tender- 
ness, drawn from the pure sources of afiection, sisterly 
love and gratitude, and he rejoiced as he coutemplated 
this lovely work of nature, that the service which in 
friendship he had rendered, might allow him some claim 
for a return of that love which was springing in his bosom. 

It was now Albina's turn to assist in administering to 
their wants, for, in truth, tlie whole party needed refresh- 
ment and rest. AA'hile they partook of the former, 
Andriani related his capture and escape, but in considera- 
tion of Leonisio's feelings, touched lightly upon his inter- 
view with the Count in his prison. " And now, my friend," 
he said, as he concluded, " you must take up the tale, for 
by what means or agency you effected my deliverance, I 
have yet to learn." 

" Willingly," replied Leonisio. " When I quitted this 
airy castle of yours, I had hardly shaped my plans, save 
.hat on your rescue I was determined ; I hoped, as in fact I 
Jid, to meet my father at II Garda, on his way to Verona. 
- desired to be immediately conducted to his presence, but 
I did not find him in the quarter assigned to him. While 
searching for him I encountered Niccolo, who is my foster- 
brother, and bound to me by the strongest ties. From 
him I learned that for some months he had been entrusted 
with the charge of the state prisoners; that Eccelino had 
arrived at the fortress during the night, sought some hasty 
refreshment, and then returned immediately to Verona; 



ANDRIANI. 79 

that you had been brought in soon after dawn, a captive, 
and just at the moment of my father^s smval ; and that 
he, Niccolo, was then waiting his return from your prison, 
whither he had conducted him, to carry your supply of 
food. I knew Niccolo could not and would not refuse me 
any service I might demand from him ; hastily, I scratched 
the word ' Hope^ upon my dagger, and enjoined him to 
place it where you w^ould find it, and then appointed him, 
these duties performed, to meet me at midnight at the 
same spot. I again wxnt to seek my father ; when he 
entered his apartment, where I had been waiting for some 
time with restless impatience, I strongly urged your claims 
upon us, and from him heard the full detail of your 
stormy interview. I found that he was ill at ease with 
himself : pride had veiled his better feelings, but had not 
smothered them. Your reproaches, while they angered, 
had also shamed and grieved him ; and Eccelino's infamous 
attempt to carry ofi" your sister had disgusted him, while 
it justified your descent from the mountains, and your 
encounter with his troops in her defence. He confessed 
that the shade of your murdered father seemed to hover 
between yourself and him in your lonely dungeon, and 
that on leaving you in that exhausted state, he had com- 
manded Niccolo to remove your chains, and supply you 
with sufficient and proper food. Fiorenza^s positive refusal 
to break her plighted faith with you, unless at your demand, 
as the last sacrifice which she could make to save your 
life, had maddened him. He left her at San Bonifazio, 
with the determination to seek and force you into compli- 
ance, if possible. When thus fortune assisted his mea- 
sures, and placed you in his power, he procured permission 
to visit you. Fortunately, the soldiers who brought you 
to I\ Garda had not yet departed from that forress. 



80 EVENINGS AT HADDON HALL. 

From this conversation I gathered, that although lie wovlcI 
bend you to his purpose, he was loath to denounce you to 
his kinsman, with whom, as you know, he is frequently at 
warfare. I left him, with the assurance on my part, that 
I would keep inviolate my faith, and hold sacred my bond 
of friendship with you in flood and field. I ordered the 
two men who accompanied me, members of your own band, 
to station their boat at any point which Niccolo should 
indicate. He agreed to accompany me to your dungeon ; 
the rest you have already told." 

While Leonisio thus simply and briefly narrated the 
means he had taken for Andriani's escape, Albina's eyes 
were bent upon his glowing countenance ; to the gratitude 
which was thrilling in her bosom, she dared not give ex- 
pression, lest other feelings, more tender, should form 
themselves into words, and give too strong an essence 
to her speech. She was hardly conscious herself, of the 
straggle which was passing within, but Nature loves not 
control ; the blushing cheek was the tell-tale of the guile- 
less heart. On his return, Andriani liad ordered a dozen 
men, under the command of Antonio, to keep watch in the 
mountain passes, to act as scouts, and to collect forage. 
The peasantry were willing enough to supply those who 
protected, but did not molest them. 

The gray of evening was now throwing its shadows on 
every recess and cavern opening, while the projecting rocks 
caught the golden tints which departing day had yet to 
give, when our trio were once more assembled in their roof- 
less hall. The laugh and jest, with recollections of early 
days, for a time kept thcni in conversation ; but, by de- 
grees, their spirits and thoughts partook of the fading 
tints around them. Andriani's were far away, with his 
peerless Fiorenza ; Leonisio dwelt with coucern upju his 



ANDRIANI. 81 

separation from Albina on the morrow; and Albina was 
occu])ied with similar regrets, and mingled fears for the 
fate of the faithful Giovanni and Benita : thus, by degrees, 
they sank into silence. A sudden movement among the 
men at the entrance of the passage, where they were on 
guard, and where others were also grouped, roused Andri- 
ani from his reclining position. Antonio entering, fol- 
lowed by four of his companions, and leading three persons 
captive, sent the angry blood into Andriani's cheek. 

" Lconisio,^' he cried, turning to his friend, who had 
also quitted his seat by Albina, " this is not our usual 
mode of warfare ! What means this, Antonio ; and by 
whose authority do you make war on women?" 

" Abate your displeasure, I pray, Count," replied An- 
tonio respectfully, at the same time advancing, somewhat 
alarmed at the wrath which was quivering on his com- 
mander's lips and darting from his eye. "We found these 
persons wandering among the mountains : they stated that 
their feeble escort had been dispersed, and their baggage 
plundered, by some loose and disorderly stragglers from 
Eccelino's troops. While these marauders were intent 
upon ritling the booty, with the assistance of the brave old 
man who was part of their convoy, they fled, and reached 
the shelter of the mountains. He gave me reason to be- 
lieve, by the extravagant marks of joy which he exhibited, 
when, in answer to his questions, he found you were 
rescued, and by his acquaintance with our password, that 
he was one whom you would gladly see ; his only desire, 
he said, was to join you ; he implored me also to protect 
those with him. I consented so to do, if they would not 
hesitate at the perils of our way, and permit themselves to 
be hhndfolded. Thus, carefully guiding them, I have 
brought them hither/* 

O 



82 EVENINGS AT UADDON HALL. 

While be was yet speaking, Andriani motioned for 
his uncxpectei visitors to be brought forward. 

" You ha\e done wisely, Antonio, although not exactly 
the booty I expected you to bring." 

"Not less welcome, I will voucb," cried Giovanni, 
stepping forward. 

" Far, ah, far more welcome, my faithful friend \" cried 
Andriani, greeting him most cordially, "for in truth, Albina 
and myself have had many misgivings on your account." 

" Indeed, indeed, we have, my good Giovanni ! " cried 
Albina, while the warm and grateful tear dropped upon the 
old man's hand, which she fervently pressed. Giovanni's 
features lighted uj) with a beam of satisfaction, and an 
arch smile played round the corners of his mouth, as he 
turned his head over his shoulder; but a painful throb sent 
the colour from Albina's cheek, as she saw one of Antonio's 
female captives locked in Leonisio's arms, and leaning on 
his shoulder. He was tenderly bearing his burthen towards 
them, but she had not the power to quit the spot, and give 
the fugitives the greeting their situation demanded. An- 
driani caught but one glimpse of that fair form, when, 
with a bound, he was at her feet, " Fiorenza ! my beloved 
Fioronza ! " 

The rocks around echoed the passionate exclamation, 
"Beloved Fiorenza!" The icy chain, which, for a few- 
moments, had rivetted Albina, was broken, and, with un- 
feigned joy, she pressed Fiorenza to her bosom. Leonisio 
resigned her to Albina's care, and took Giovanni aside, for 
an ex])lanation of this unexpected meeting. Andriani cared 
onlv that she was there, and all he loved around him. 

At this blissful moment, years of adverse fortune, 
sorrow, strife, and struggle, seemed to be repaid, and 
blotted from his memory. Giovanni related his escape 



ANDBIANI. 



83 



from Eccelino : he had concealed himself till the tramp of 
horses assured him that the tyrant had taken the road 
back to Verona ; he then returned to his cottage, provided 
himself with some necessaries and provision, and having 
sought Benita at the house where she had taken refuge, 
obtained a horse, and went in quest of Andriani. On his 
way, he heard of his disaster; then changing his course, he 
did not pause until he reached San Bonifazio, hoping that 
the Count would exert himself to save the son of his lost 
friend, but he was gone ; he then entreated to be admitted 
to the presence of the Lady Fiorenza, who was nearly dis- 
tracted by the intelligence which he brought of Andriani's 
dansier. She knew that it was her father's intention to 
visit II Garda; she insisted, therefore, upon setting off 
immediately to seek him ; and to urge her entreaties in 
favour of the prisoner, reckless of the danger, inconve- 
nience, or even the displeasure of her father, which so 
prompt and bold a measure might bring upon her : indeed, 
there was no time to dwell upon evil consequences, as little 
for preparation ; she dared not weaken the force left to 
guard the castle. Attended, therefore, by one female, by 
Giovanni and three varlets, with two horses for baggage, 
she commenced her journey. 

They had halted to take some refreshment, and were 
again pursuing their route, with unabated haste and dili- 
gence, when Giovanni slackened rein, and in alarm pointed 
out the advance of a party coming upon them, and which, 
he well knew, would treat friend or foe alike. He coun- 
selled Fiorenza to fly, before the distance between them 
should be lessened, and abandon their light baggage to the 
plunderers. To this, without hesitation, she consented. 
The attendants were to remain till the marauders gained 
sight of the booty, and then disperse themselves. They 



84 EVKXINGS AT IIADDON HALL. 

hoped the bait thus placed in their view would, for a few 
minutes at least, arrest their greedy attention. Mean- 
while, they sought the mountains, where they wandered 
until they fell in with Antonio. Scouts were still out, and 
others were immediately dispatched, some in disguise; 
such were to make their way, if possible, to Brescia. 
During their absence, means and measures were con- 
sidered for the safe convoy of Fiorenza back to the castle 
of San Bonifazio, whither it was decided Albina should 
accompany her. The morning would bring in those now 
out upon service, and Andriani considered his force suffi- 
cient to guarantee their safety against any of Eccelino's 
straggling parties whom they might encounter. Precious 
to the lovers were the few hours thus accorded to them ; 
each flying moment rivetted more firmly the links which 
bound them in strong affection to each other. Andriani, 
to the last moment of the evening, lingered by Fiorenza's 
side ; and when fatigue constrained Albina and herself to 
seek rest in the rude lodging w'hich a cavern could afford 
them, he set about his arrangements for the following day ; 
then snatched a short repose, far too anxious for the safety 
of those who under his guidance were to be lodged in 
security, to lose in indulgence the early hours, which 
would give him an opportunity of reviewing his prepara- 
tions. Leonisio and himself were still in discourse, and 
debating every means which prudence could suggest against 
accident, when they were joined by those in whom all their 
thoughts centred. The joy of the preceding day was so- 
bered down almost to melancholy, for a brief space only 
intervened ere they must part, and all beyond was uncer- 
tainty. The necessity for their separation was not cheered 
by any brighter prospect to relieve the present and positive 
evil of its dull truth. Andriani's activity, however, had 



ANDRIANI. 85 

left him leisure to enjoy the good that yet remained, in 
the society of Fiorenza. All, finally, was ready, and they 
only awaited the return of the scouts sent out on the pre- 
vious evening. 

As the sun began to glance his rays across one side of 
their craggy abode, Andriani and his friend experienced 
some uneasiness. None of the men had returned, and until 
some information was obtained, they could not venture to 
descend the mountain. Meanwhile, time was wearmg 
apace, and Andriani felt that his asylum was ill suited to 
the propriety and habits of those who, in peril, had sought 
it as a refuge. Fiorenza dreaded her father's anger, if he 
should return and learn from others the imprudent journey 
she had undertaken ; but if she could reach San Bonifazio 
before him, Leonisio would seek him, and mollify his dis- 
pleasure. Leonisio and Albina, whose love, although 
ardent, was still young and unforbidden, were rather 
anxious for others than themselves. 

" The signal at last V cried Andi-iani. 

The heavy stone which closed the passage was rolled 
back, and two of the scouts brought in their report, that 
the mountain passes were clear; nought but fishermen's 
barks were moving upon the lake, nor was there any 
e\-idence of impediment to cause them further delay. This 
intelligence was confirmed by those who had been sent in 
other directions, and arrived soon after the fii-st comers. 

'*■ I would fain see them all in before we depart," ob- 
served Andriani, appealing to Leonisio, "and learn the 
news from Brescia and Verona." 

He was not kept long in suspense, and the short delay 
gave further proof of his prudent judgment. The last 
scout reported that Eccelino had been wounded in the foot 
at Cassano, and had been carried to Vimercato; Azzo 



86 EVENINGS AT HADDON HALL. 

d'Este, with the Fcrraresc and Mantuans, also the ^lar- 
chcsc Obcrto Pelaviciuo and Buoso da Duora, with the 
Cremonese, were leagued in arms against him, while him- 
self was expected, when his wound was cured, to advance 
with the Brescians and meet this formidable coalition. It 
was believed the Count San Bonifazio was with the 
Marchese Azzo d'Este ; but to this fact no one could 
speak positively. 

"While the men gave these details, a crimson hue 
flushed Andriani's care-worn features ; he turned his eyes, 
which were full of hope, brightness, and intelligence, 
towards Fiorenza, at the same time exclaiming, " Heaven 
be praised ! Andriani's arm shall not be wanting in the 

No obstacle appeared now to offer itself to immediate 
departure, but as the aspect of affairs was changed, it was 
necessary to make some alteration in the disposition of his 
force, and give some fresh directions to those who were to 
l)e left in guard over his secret stronghold. Giovanni 
would not consent to remain behind ; he had shared, as a 
faithful retainer of their house, their fortunes, and would 
do so still. As they approached the drawbridge of San 
Bonifazio, Fiorenza turned to Andriani ; the tear stood 
quivering in her eye ; she pointed to the barrier but a few 
paces before them. Her voice trembled as she said, 
" Andriani, here we must part ; you go to quell a tyrant 
revenge the death of a father, release your fellow men from 
horrible oppression, and, reinstated in your honours and 
your rights, claim the guerdon of my hand ; it must be, 
nor can I say a word to stay your purpose, which patriotism, 
duty, and plighted love enjoin. Heaven be with you ! 
Till your return, my prayers shall unceasingly be offered 
in your behalf: if," and the words almost choked her—* 



ANDRIANI. 87 

"if you fail, and fall, Andriani, you will leave to the 
church the legacy of my plighted vows to you, and a 
willing bride/^ 

One interchanged long look of love, one pressure of 
united hands, and Fiorenza, giving a slight jerk to the 
rein of her horse, with Leonisio passed the bridge. A 
sobbing adieu from Albina, and Andriani was left alone to 
watch their receding figures as the portcullis was lowered, 
and the closing gates shut them from his view. He was 
still lost in mournful meditation, when the tramp of 
Leonisio's horse, in recrossing the bridge, aroused him. 
With a heavy sigh, in silence he wheeled round, and the 
friends proceeded at a brisk pace towards the theatre of 
war. As they came within sight of the Adda, they found 
that the hostile parties had already commenced their fierce 
contest. They rushed forwaid at the head of their small 
band to that part of the field where their presence was 
most needed, and the fight was hottest. Eccelino had 
already passed the ford ; raging with fury, he was clearing 
the way before him till his further progress was almost 
impeded by the dying and the dead which he had heaped 
around him. Andriani marked him well ; fighting his 
onward course through a medley of friends and foes, 
panting and bleeding, he at last attained and faced his 
deadly enemy. Raising himself in his stirrups, and throw- 
ing up his visor, he cried, in a voice which rang with an 
echo amid the clash and din of arms, " For Andriani the 
Avenger !" Then spurring on his charger, he whirled hi" 
sword three times in circles above his head without tfie 
mtermission of a second, and ere the tyrant could raise an 
arm to parry the deadly assault, the crashing strokes <:»•- 
scended in rapid succession upon his helmet. The Brescians, 
before wavering, now gave way and fled, and Eecelino 



88 EVENINGS AT HADDON HALL. 

remained in the hands of his opponents. Shouts and exe- 
crations hailed the capture of the wounded monster; crowds 
flocked in to view him, pursuing him with revihngs as he was 
carried forward to Soneino. It was with difficulty that the 
enraged poj)ulace were kept back ; they clamoured that he 
should be delivered to their vengeance. They would wil- 
lingly have anticipated the moment which should rid them 
of a tyrant, who by his cruelties had goaded them to mad- 
ness. This act of retribution his captors forbade. The 
wounds given by Andriani's arm, although mortal, left 
him a few days' respite for repentance, a brief mercy which 
he despised. Without one solitary ])rayer or requiem, he 
was deposited under the portico of the Palace of Soneino, 
while all Lombardy feasted and sent up their voices in 
rejoicing and thanksgiving that he was taken from the 
world, and that a country which he had deluged with crime 
and blood was freed from his oppression. 

Andriani had fulfilled his compact ; with his sword he 
had severed the yoke of tyranny. No more a wanderer or 
an outlaw, but noble among the noblest, wealthy among 
the wealthiest, and brave beyond the bravest, in all the 
freshness of his glory, he sought her whose constancy and 
truth had shone like a hallowed light to cheer the midnight 
of his adverse fortunes. He claimed the plighted hand of 
his Fiorenza, which was no longer withheld from him ; 
neither did Coimt llicciardo di Bonifazio frown upon the 
union of his cherished Leonisio with the richly-dowered 
sister of Andriani Conte di Panego, the gentle and lovely 
Albina. 

Giovanni and Benita stood foremost at the sacred altar, 
round which were grouped those faithful followers who had 
not deserted the persecuted children of the murdered Conte 
di Pancffo. 



EVENING THE SECOND. 



No sooner had the party assembled in the hbrary^ on 
the second evening, than the Lady Eva occupied herself in 
searching anxiously among the designs that lay before her; 
presently she fixed upon two as dissimilar from each other 
in the associations they vi^ere calculated to call up in the 
mind of the spectator, as terror is from gentleness, or 
grief from joy : the one representing, with marvellous 
truth of eflfect, the burning of a vessel at sea ; the other, 
the return of a minstrel to his home. 

'■' There !" exclaimed she, " who will be able to tell 
one story about two such pictures as those ? One of them 
almost making you weep with pain and terror, — the other 
with pleasant thoughts V 

Holding out the two designs, she looked around, and 
her glance rested on a lady who had written on various 
subjects. " Ah !" she exclaimed, as she placed the two 
designs in the hands of that lady, " you, whose imagination 
is a perfect prism, you can find no difficulty in portraying 
in their true colours even two objects as dissimilar as light 
from darkness. ^^ 

It seemed to have already grown into a tacit under- 
standing that the Lady Eva was to have her way im* 



90 EVENINGS AT IIADDON IIALl 

plicitly during the six evenings allotk-d to the i.engthened 
celebration of her birthday ; and the hidy to wlioni she 
had thus addressed herseU", though evidently reluctant to 
be called so early into the field of emulation with so many 
accomplished persons as she saw around her, seemed still 
more reluctant to disappoint the excited expectations of the 
eager child whose beseeching glance was fixed upon her. 
She paused for a brief space ; examined the pictures with 
an attentive care ; and then proceeded to relate 

THE FORTUNES OF THE GLENGARY. 

In one of the remotest parts of the northern division 
of Scotland stood the ancient castle of Glengary. To the 
eyes of a Lowlander, its situation might appear too insular, 
too lonely, for the cheering intercourse of society ; but the 
lairds of Glengary had been used to behold in the girdle 
of heath-clad mountains and the fall of rushing waters 
which skirted their domain, features of grandeur and 
attraction undreamt of by any but their own clan. The 
hills were to them emblems of the strength and durability 
of their race. The lofty pine and the dark brown heather 
were to their eyes more picturesque than the richly wooded 
vales of England's garden scenery. 

The character of the kilted clan of Glengaiy seemed 
to partake of this wilder scenery, and their nerves and 
sinews to be braced to the hardier exercises and amuse- 
ments of the clime. The noble chieftain, Sir Norman 
Ramsay, had from boyhood lived on the estate, and had 
from infancy been beloved by all the vassal train. He had 
married young. For many years but one child, a son, 
had been bom to him, and this son was preparing to enter 



THE FORTUNES OF THE GLENGARY. 91 

the army, when the birth of his sister brought desolation 
on the poor father^s heart, by taking from him the cherished 
wife of his affection. 

Not only was the husband's cup of sorrow full, and his 
tenderest feelings rent asunder, but the son's support and 
protection against his own turbulent nature were buried 
in his mother's grave. From that hour his fierce passions 
seemed beyond control. Her influence over him had been 
great; it was the influence of a calm and gentle mind, 
leading a proud and wilful spirit by the flowery chain of a 
tender mother's love ; effecting by a tearful caress what 
the father's firm reason and unbending principle often 
failed to accomplish. 

For a few weeks after their mutual bereavement, a 
gentler intercourse seemed established between parent and 
child. But at length Allan received orders to join his 
regiment ; and for years they did not again meet. Indeed, 
till Marian was entering her fourteenth year, her brother 
was a stranger to her. Her tender age, her girlish beauty, 
made a favourable impression on him. She listened with 
delighted wonder to his description of those warlike scenes 
in which he had borne a part, and his vanity was flattered 
by the deference with which she treated him. The dis- 
parity in their age prevented his naturally jealous and 
envious temper from taking umbrage, when Marian was 
folded to their father's heart, and caressed as his best loved 
one; or, if a pang was felt, it was subdued by finding 
Marian's arms round his own neck, and her young and 
glowing cheek pillowed on his shoulder, as soon as released 
from her father's embrace. 

In their rambles over their native hills, Marian would 
beseech Allan to talk to her of their mother — the mother 
she, alas ! had never known ; and on these occasions, 



92 EVENINGS AT HADDON HALL. 

Allan's stem mind would melt to childlike softness while 
speakini; of her virtues, and rcnicmbering her endearments. 

Ere his leave of absence had expired, Alhui liad {rained 
strong hold on Marian's heart, and many an hour did she 
weep bitterly after his departure, while she thought of how 
long they might remain separate. She wondered that 
her father did not seem to share in these regrets ; for 
she dreamed not that, while kind and gentle to her, 
Allan's conduct had been selfish and overbearing to their 
parent. 

Nor was Sir Norman the only one on whom her brother's 
bursts of ill-controlled temper broke forth. Marian had 
often witnessed that to the poor old and now infirm steward, 
who had been the firm and attached servant, the faithful 
and zealous friend, of his father and grandfather, his man- 
ner was ungrateful, and oftentimes insolent. To the min- 
strel, whose service dated from before Allan's birth, and 
whose loudest strain was poured forth to proclaim it 
through hill and dale, making the very cairns resound with 
that event, he was bitter and impertinent ; and to Marian, 
who loved these faithful followers with a love second only 
to that she felt for her father, this conduct was painful to 
behold. It had been one of her privileges to sui)j)urt the 
steward as he strolled through the house, imagining he 
was still dii'ccting its concerns, though, in reality, he was 
oftentimes too feeble to direct his own tottering steps. On 
such occasions, the young girl would spring to his assist- 
ance, and, leaning on her arm, he would linger in the dif- 
ferent apartments, whiling away the time with old tradi- 
tions of her ancestors, whose portraits were dispersed about 
the house. Age seemed to have made itself manifest in 
the mortal frame of Angus ; while his mind remained un- 
impaired, his memory had perhaps lost something of its 



THE FORTUNES OF THE GLENGARY. 93 

freshness ; it no longer retained passing events with accu- 
racy; but those long gone by were firmly and faithfully 
imprinted on it. 

Fergus the minstrel had been brought up and had 
been taught by Angus to string into poetiy the wondrous 
deeds of the Glengarys, and then wander forth to sing 
them. Between each ramble he was wont to pass his days 
with Angus, occasionally tuning his lay in the presence of 
Sir Norman and the gentle Marian, who would listen to 
his warlike strain, till the deeds of her ancestors would 
tinge her cheek with pride, or her eyes would fill with 
tears at the relation of some pathetic scene in which they 
had been engaged. 

For neither of these attached followers did Allan feel 
kindness or sympathy, and in a second hurried visit which 
he paid them quite unexpectedly, he avowed to Jlarian 
his dislike to the steward. " How can my father tolerate 
that old drone's impertinence \" he exclaimed. " It is to 
be hoped, ere I come into possession, he will be laid in 
yonder kirk-yard, or he will have to provide himself with 
other lodgings, I can tell him.'^ 

Soon after his son's first visit. Sir Norman received 
some startling news respecting a law-suit instituted by a 
perfect stranger, a man wholly unconnected with his 
family, claiming a right to, and seeking to dispossess him 
of, his personal estate, of which estate he had taken posses- 
sion at his father's death, not only as next of kin, but 
under a will found among his father's papers — a docu- 
ment which was regarded merely as a proof of the extreme 
care which characterized all the late Sir Archibald's pro- 
ceedings. It is true that, soon after Allan's birth, he had 
received some anonymous communications, recommending 
him to be frugal , and to put aside something for a future 



94 EVENINGS AT HADDON HALL 

day, as the property lie considered his own, and his right 
of succession to it, might be contested, on the arrival of 
certain parties from abroad. No credit, however, and but 
little thought, had been given by Sir Norman to these 
communications at the time they were made ; but now that 
a suit was actually commenced, they naturally recurred to 
his mind. Still, as his agents had written him word that 
this action seemed an act of insanity, and that he could 
not possibly be harmed by its prosecution, as not a shadow 
of a case could be made out, he did not, knowing the over- 
bearing and imperious temper of his son, even mention the 
matter to him on his second visit. For some months 
nothing more was heard of it, and Sir Norman supposed 
the parties nmst have been imposed upon, and had since 
discovered the truth ; but suddenly it appeared that some 
new and conclusive evidence had started up, and that it 
would be prudent to take such precautionary measures as 
had till then been deemed needless. Among other de- 
mands, his agents begged to inspect the title-deeds by 
which he held his estate. 

Sir Norman Kamsay was a man of great precision and 
exactness in all his arrangements. Everything around 
him breathed order and regularity, and though ill dis- 
posed, on the receipt of his solicitor's letter, to trust the 
deeds demanded into any custody but his own, he deter- 
mined to inspect them himself, and proceeded to remove 
them from the strong chest in which he had placed them 
many years before, — when, to his utter dismay, he could 
not find a single document but some of comparatively re- 
cent date, while those he sought were coeval with the 
mountains which girded his estate. 

" AVho can have done this act V h^ mentally exclaimed, 
" and for what purpose ? To whom, but to me and mine, 



THE FORTUNES OF THE GLENGARY. 95 

can these deeds be of any value V These were his first 
questions ; but in another moment, tae conviction of the 
important use that might be made by his opponent of his 
not being able to produce them, threw a diiferent light on 
the loss, and as he sank heavily into a chair, he said 
aloud — "I am a I'uined man '/^ 

At this moment, ]\Iarian, Avho had been seeking him, 
appeared at the door. Calling her to him, he folded her 
to his heart with even more than his usual fondness ; and 
when he released her, two large drops glistening on her 
shoulder evidenced a father's grief at the thought of his 
child's future poverty : — for Sir Norman was so unnerved 
by the discovery of this act of treachery, that he looked at 
once to the worst, and already saw his estate wrested from 
him, and his children reduced to the mere pittance which 
his late wife's fortune would ensure them. His gentle 
daughter had been his first thought ; she was too young, 
too artless, to understand the loss of fortune, but he could 
not look on her, all lovely as she was, without a shudder 
at the change which seemed lowering on her youth. Then 
he thought of his son, whose haughty bearing, whose un- 
controlled mind, whose hitherto thoughtless expenditure, 
rendered him little fit to struggle against so great a 
reverse. Last of all came the thought of his poor wife, 
his children's mother ; and for the first time did he seriously 
thank that Almighty power which had seen fit to call home 
her gentle spirit ere such a blow fell on the objects of her 
tenderest love. 

After the first amazement had in some degree subsided. 
Sir Norman carefully examined the iron chest in which 
these deeds had been deposited. Twenty-five years had 
intervened since he had referred to them ; bu*; on several 
different occasions, when he had placed new documents in 



96 EVENINGS AT H ADDON HALL. 

tlic chest, he felt ])ositivc of having .always seen tlicm lying 
at the bottom of it. The closest examination could dis- 
cover no sign of force having been used to gain possession 
of them; the iron clasps were as firmly attached as ever, 
the lock was uninjured, and from the peculiar construction 
of its wards, it could not have been forced without some 
marks of violence ; and the key had always been deposited 
in the bureau from whence Sir Norman had that morning 
taken it. 

The more he reflected on the circumstance, the more 
mysterious it became. For some days he was silent to 
every one on the subject, but on receiving a second and 
more pressing request from his agents, he determined 
on revealing his loss to old Angus, ere he proceeded to 
Edinburgh, to make it known to his men of business. Ac- 
cordingly, the evening before he was to commence his 
journey, he summoned Angus to his study, and began 
relating his fearful discovery, and the use which might 
be made of the extraordinaiy abstraction of these deeds. 
" You must tax your memory, my old friend," said Sir 
Norman ; " you must try and remember every event which 
can throw light on this malicious prosecution." 

The old man's face was bent down as he approached 
his car, to prevent whatever his master might have to con- 
fide to him from being heard by others, and therefore Sir 
Norman could not observe the impression caused by his 
relation of these fticts ; but as he ceased speaking, he 
heard a sort of gurgling in the throat, and saw Angus fall 
forward from his chair, his hands clasped, his eyes rigid 
as in death. There was a struggle for utterance, but 
speech was denied ; and ere Sir Norman could summon 
assistance, he became aware that his poor old servant 
was djang. 



THE FORTUNES OF THE GLE.VGARY. 97 

The steward was conveyed to liis bed, and eveiy means 
used to restore him, but for many hours he remained 
senseless. Sir Norman watched by him, but hearing that 
Marian appeared inconsolable, he went to appease her 
grief, and remained absent some hours. For a short time 
the dying man seemed to revive; he made signs to be 
raised, but fell back. The minstrel, who had been kneel- 
ing by his bed, approached his ear, and Angus articulated 
with difficulty some words, to which the other listened in 
silence. What these words might be, none but themselves 
could know, for they were uttered low and indistinctly, and 
in a foreign tongue. That they were of fearful import, the 
convulsed features of the dying man, the pale and terrified 
looks of the minstrel, afforded evident proof. 

The dawn had broken; the glorious luminary poured 
one bright ray through the oriel window : it fell on the 
pale and distorted features of Angus, and revealed to the 
Glengary, who just then opened the door of the apartment, 
that the spirit of his old servant was no longer of this earth. 
A few wild notes which broke from the harp of the minstrel 
sounded his requiem. 

Sir Norman delayed his journey to the metropolis while 
his daughter's preparations were made for accompanying 
him; for he could not think of leaving her improtected 
by his presence. Angus, old and infirm as he had become, 
would, from his faithful attachment, and his mental vigoui-, 
which was always devoted to the good of the family he 
served, have been considered sufficient safeguard during 
his absence. Hitherto Sir Norman had not supposed that 
he had an enemy on earth ; but now it was too apparent 
that some one or other stood in that relation towards him. 
It was impossible for Sir Norman not to connect the awfui 

u 



98 EVENINGS AT IIADDON HALL. 

visitation wliich had befalk-u Aiitrus with tlic topic on which 
he was speaking at the instant it occurred, and for a mo- 
ment, perhaps, a feeling almost amounting to suspicion 
arose, as he thought of the sudden seizure, and remem- 
bered that till he mentioned the discovery he had made, 
old Angus appeared in his usual health. But Sir Norman 
was too just and too honourably-minded to harbour mistrust 
of one whose long service and tried honesty for three gene- 
rations had secured him the respect of laird and peasant, 
and whose impartial fulfilment of the duties of his situation 
had earned for him the attachment of every one for miles 
round the estate ; and, with a feeling of self-reproach for 
having even glanced in thought at such a possibility, the 
chieftain banished all mistrust, and attended in person the 
old man's funeral. 

Sir Norman and his daughter had scarcely arrived in 
the capital, when, spite of every effort which had been 
made for the recovery of the lost deeds, the day of trial 
was fixed without any clue to them having been gained. 
True, Allan had written to his father and to their man of 
business, declaring his positive belief that old Angus had 
been bribed to sell them to the enemy ; and, in the same 
letter, he had not scrupled to denounce the minstrel as his 
accomplice, and to urge that he should be forthwith seized 
and examined. Sir Norman was indignant at his son's 
petulant interference, and resented his defamation of the 
old steward's character. ^larian was thunderstruck when 
she heard the charge. "Impossible!" she exclaimed. 
" Suspect Angus of a fraud upon my father ! As well 
might Allan or myself be accused of it." And no argu- 
ment that could be adduced, nothing that could be ad- 
vanced, shook her faith in the integrity of the old man. 

Meanwhile, the men of business looked at the proba- 



THE FORTUNES : F THE GLENGARY. 99 

bilities of the case ; and as they could find nothing more 
hkeiy, would have given credit to the accusation against 
Angus, had it not been that, through some underlings 
connected with their own and the adversary's office, they 
had obtained information which gave them reason to sus- 
pect that the missing deeds were not in the possession of 
Mr. Muir ; and that a deed of sale of the reversion of the 
estate after his death, executed in proper form by Sir 
Archibald Ramsay, was all their case rested on. They, 
however, considered it their duty to secure the minstrel's 
person, and for that purpose sent to Glengary ; but he wai 
nowhere to be found ; and this circumstance rather gave 
colour in their minds to the accusation. 

The suit was now pressed on by the wealthy stranger 
as rapidly as the forms of law would admit ; and at length 
the day of trial arrived. In the opening of the case, the 
late Sir Archibald's will was described as a nefarious act. 
No longer did Sir Norman, who was in court, regard the 
decision of this suit merely as the question on which his 
inheritance rested. All thoughts of poverty or wealth, of 
lands and vassals, were absorbed in an overwhelming desire 
to clear his father's memory from the stigma cast on it. 
Home, fortune, position, influence, all became nothing but 
as they might tend to that one end. Sir Norman resolved 
that no tongue but his own should defend his father's 
honour ; and though unfavourable impressions had spread 
themselves over the minds of their firmest supporters, on 
his admitting the impossibility in which he found himself 
to pi'oduce the title-deeds of his estate, and a smile of in- 
credulity had been visible on the countenances of some 
while he related the manner in which he had discovereci 
their loss, still, as he proceeded, his calm and lofty tone, 
his simple but forcible language, his expressions of out- 



100 EVENINGS AT IIADDON HALL. 

raged honour, so feeling and so emphatic, were carrying 
conviction to the hearts of his hearers; — when suddenly 
a stir was heard — a buzz, a press, a general commotion, 
was perceived — and then a man rushed breathless into 
court, and presented some documents to the prosecutor's 
counsel, who appeared completely taken by surprise, but 
in an instant recovered himself sufficiently to declare that, 
in his hand, he held the title-deeds, so plausibly declared 
by Sir Norman to have been, till lately, in his iron chest. 

The suit was at an end. There could be no pretence 
for withholding the verdict from the prosecutor. The 
deed of sale might have been a forgery, but the possession 
of the title-deeds of the estate spoke for themselves, and 
Sir Norman left the court, not only a ruined, but a broken- 
hearted man. In vain did his daughter speak in those 
soothing tones from which he had never before turned 
away. Her own senses were so bcwddcrcd by what had 
occurred, that she hardly knew what to urge in mitigation 
of her father's anguish ; but when she prophesied that the 
villany practised against them must, sooner or later, be 
brought to light, he would catch her to his heart, and 
pray God that she might live to see her grandfather's 
name avenged. 

As soon as they could remove from the capital, the 
unhappy father and daughter retired to a small cottage, 
situated in a glen near to their ancient home. A. very 
small income — being a life-interest in his late wife's 
fortune — was all Sir Norman could now call his own. 

^Ir. Muir, perhaps, felt how little his presence would 
be tolerated at Glengary; for there appeared no sign of 
his coming to take possession. The house remained closed, 
the park neglected, and silence reigned where many a scene 
of festive mirth was remembered, and many a banquet 



THE FORTUNES OF THE GLENGARY, lOi 

had been spread for all who came as guests, and wlience, 
within the memory of living man, never had the poor or 
wayfaring been turned away without relief or hospitality. 

At first, each week passed in their cottage seemed an 
age, both to Sir Norman and his daughter ; but week suc- 
ceeded week, months had nearly swollen into a year, and 
no change seemed likely to occur. Sir Norman evidently 
pined, and his state of health gave great alarm to his 
daughter. A change of scene, a warmer climate, was 
advised, and IMarian proposed to her parent to remove 
from their humble home. 

Then came the galling pinch of poverty. True, they 
had no debts to cripple or retard their movements. Their 
flight might be taken without fear of any opposing creditor; 
but the means for a long journey were wanting. INlarian^s 
heart beat quick, and her eye flashed with something like 
indignation, as she asked herself — "Shall my father's 
health, perhaps his life, be sacrificed for want of a small 
portion of that wealth his hand has so often bestowed 
on others V She knew that the means would be found, 
Vv^ere the want made known. Not one of his clan but 
would have given their last shilling to prove the love they 
felt for their chieftain. But Marian could not become a 
supplicant, even for her father, while any other means re- 
mained untried. 

While in the capital, Sir Norman had given her the 
jewel-case of her late mother, and told her to wear any 
of the more simple ornaments it contained. She had re- 
moved from it a locket containing her father and mother's 
hair, with the date of their marriage engraved on it, which 
she had since constantly worn, but had never since opened 
the case. Now she flew to it, and while taking from it 
each separate ornament, many of them costly ones, she 



102 EVENINGS AT IIADDON HALL. 

Caucicd her mother's sweet and gentle spirit was hovering 
round her. " I must not tell my father/' thought she, 
" that I am about to sell his gift, for he might not permit 
it ; but, once converted into money, he will not refuse 
his child the happiness of seeing him restored to health 
by the exchange." 

Marian had no friend to whom she could confide her 
])lans, and alone she could not hope to execute them ; so 
the trinkets remained for the moment unsold. But as Sir 
Norman became more feeble, and the second summer was 
rapidly passing away, IMarian grew wretched under the 
sad prospect of her father's being exposed to the rigour of 
another winter in that northern climate. "Could I but 
persuade him to go to London," said she, " there I might 
find a purchaser for these diamonds, which, by their daz- 
zling lustre, seem to reproach me for letting my father 
fade." 

Marian's pleadings were in vain, so long as she en- 
treated her father to seek further medical advice for him- 
self; but when the restless anxiety she felt began to act 
on her own health — when her cheek became pale, her 
tone languid, and her step lost its buoyancy — the fond 
father saw sufficient cause for a visit to London, and their 
journey was instantly arranged. 

Ere jMarian could leave the neighbourhood, she felt 
an irresistible desire once more to behold the home of her 
infancy. She knew that strange stories were afloat — that 
the old house was said to be haunted — that unearthly 
sounds were declared to have been heard by those who 
had ventured within its walls. But Marian, strong in in- 
nocence, and firm of purpose, feared no evil results from 
her intended pUgrimage, save that she might be refused 
admittance. 



THE FORTUNES OF THE GLEXGARY. 103 

The owner of the neighbouring manse, to whom she 
confided her wish, agreed to conduct her to the village, 
and aid her in this act of harmless deceit, for she cared not 
to disturb her father's mind by mentioning it. 

Early one fine autumnal morning they departed for 
the village, when, leaving her companion to see that his 
horse was taken care of while he went to visit some sick 
person, INIarian proceeded on foot to the entrance-gate. 
It was open ; she passed quickly into the neglected park, 
and by a short cut made her way, with some difficult}^, 
towards the house. Its windows were closed, and an air 
of desolation reigned around. She rang the bell. Its 
sound seemed to terrify her. How often had she listened 
to that deep-toned bell, when expecting her father or Allan 
to return from some field sports ! Then its peal seemed 
joyous ; now it sounded like a mournful knell, and as it 
reverberated through the empty halls, each echo proclaimed 
aloud their fallen fortunes. 

She remained some time within the porch, but no one 
responded to her call, and with a shudder she turned from 
the door which was wont to be thrown open to welcome her 
entrance. Buried in thought, she proceeded at random 
till she found herself at an angle of the building, near 
which she remembered there was a small door, that had 
been used by the old steward, when he wandered from his 
own apartment into the park, without coming through the 
house. On approaching, she found it a-jar, and, well versed 
in all the windings which to another would have been intri- 
cate, she made her way to that part of the dwelling which 
the family had occupied. 

Arrived in her father's room, Marian paused. How 
many thoughts and reflections rushed on her mind ! Her 
heart beat — her head grew giddy. Something like fear 



104 EVENINGS AT IIADDON HALL. 

took possession of her mind, but she tried to shake it off. 
True, she \vas alone ; but who had so great a right as her- 
self to be ther> — there, in the home of her childhood — 
there, in the halls of her ancestors — there, where the blood 
01 her forefathers had been shed, to maintain their right of 
possession against the Lowlander and the Saxon ? What, 
then, had she to fear within those walls ? Their desolate 
appearance — their untenanted state — did it not prove that 
no stranger could find in them a home ? Her father had, 
by treachery, been driven from his habitation : but no 
other had found in it a shelter. 

More tender thoughts quickly succeeded this burst of 
pride. In one room, some kind word of her father's was 
remembered ; in another, some stirring tale of former 
years, in which her ancestors had taken part, had been 
related by the poor old steward. She was now in the 
banqueting-hall, and casting her eyes around, she beheld 
the small gallery in which the minstrel had been wont to 
sing the deeds of other days. That gallery now vacant — 
her father an exile from his home — her brother far away 
— the old steward's memory attainted by foul suspicion — 
the minstrel supposed to have lied from justice, — her 
heart sank — her head drooped — the maiden's proud feel- 
ings were quenched, as, friendless and forlorn, she stood 
leaning for support against the large buttress of the pro- 
jecting chimney. 

The wind was high, and rushed mournfully through 
the dreary pile ; but at intervals it seemed to bring a 
sound of music on its wing. Marian listened breathlessly 
— it came nearer — she threw back her long and silky 
ringlets to hear more distinctly. Could it be ? she asked 
herself. Did she dream, or had the recollections of fonner 
days bewildered her senses ? The music became clearer, 



iHE FORTUNES OF THE GLENGARY. 105 

and Mariau no longer doubted but tbat it was the min- 
strel's harp, the minstrel's voice. AVben it ceased, IMarian 
sprung forward, crying, "Fergus, Fergus, it is I ! — it is 
your chieftain's daughter who speaks ! " But no answer 
was given. She ran wildly to the spot whence the sounds 
had appeared to come, and then to the part of the building 
formerly inhabited by the minstrel, but neither sign nor 
sound of human existence could she discover. 

The morning was far advanced, and fearing to alarm 
her father by her long absence, she forced herself to quit 
the house by the same door she had entered, and crossing 
the park, regained the village, where the curate awaited 
her. Marian's heart was too full for speech, and silently 
they returned to the cottage. 

The following day Sir Norman and his daughter com- 
menced their journey. They remained in London some 
weeks, during which time they received several visits from 
Allan, who came there, he said, to meet them. But he 
was no longer the same Allan, Marian's childish heart had 
enshrined as the bright reality of her glowing imagination. 
He was changed in appearance, changed in manner, 
changed in temper, and the hours he spent with them, 
instead of giving his sister pleasure, were rather antici- 
pated with dread, and remembered with pain. Once, when 
he had seemed less reserved, she ventured to tell him of 
her visit to the castle, but had not proceeded far when his 
vehemence frightened and arrested her relation. She felt, 
if the mere mention of her visit had such an effect on him, 
how little he would enter into her feelings — how little 
would he comprehend the sounds she had heard. 

Marian had often wished to speak of the minstrel's 
strain ; but her father's weakened nerves, his shattered 



lOG EVENINGS AT RADDON HALL. 

health, rrnclorcd licr fearful of mentioning it to liim. She 
had looked forward to Allan's being with them as the mo- 
ment when she might relieve her own bewildered mind, by 
giving him her confidence, and seeking, through the aid 
of his stronger reason, a solution of those thoughts which 
seemed too weighty for her own. But this hope was soon 
dissipated : Allan sedulously avoided all reference to for- 
mer years, and on more than one occasion gave Marian to 
understand that any allusion to the two " old rascals," as 
he called them, who had compassed their ruin, would 
banish him from her sight. 

Silenced rather than satisfied, IMarian came to the pain- 
ful conviction that her weight of responsibility would 
neither be lightened nor shared by her selfish brother. 
There were moments when he would look at her, as she 
pursued her quiet domestic occupations, with a fixed stare 
almost like insanity, place his hands before his face, and 
rush from the house like a maniac. But his whole con- 
duct was so strange and inexplicable, that, in her despair 
of unravelling it, IMarian thought but of concealing its 
existence from her father. Alone she was left to devise for 
that father's comforts ; she felt that on earth there was no 
helping hand, no friendly counsel, to sustain her; and, 
firm in the pursuit of her one paramount duty to her 
invalid parent, she sought, with trust and perfect faith, 
that support from above which is promised to the lone 
and the helpless. 

Had Allan performed the fraternal part IMarian had so 
joyfully anticipated, she might not have relaxed in her 
own personal exertions ; but, assuredly, she would never 
have acquired that energy of character which marked her 
after-life. Trusting to human aid, she wovdd have faltered 
and trembled under every fresh evil ; but now her mind 



THE FORTUNES OF THE GLENGARY. 107 

had sought a higher trust ; she was calm and resigned, 
leaving the event of all in the hands of her heavenly 
Father, while she fulfilled, with strict and scrupulous devo- 
tion, her care and duty to her earthly one. 

Marian requested the physician who attended Sir Nor- 
man to recommend her to a jeweller of established repute, 

and Dr. R , surmising that it was rather an errand of 

sale than a desire to purchase, made it a point of con- 
science to speak of one whose just and liberal dealings 
were known to him. Early one morning, she set out to 
find her way into the city, where the address given her 
pointed out the residence of this merchant. 

It was a dark and gloomy morning ; the atmosphere 
was dense and yellow with a November fog ; the multi- 
tudes she met, the many who hurried by her, all wore the 
appearance of urgent business ; but there was an air of 
animation and bustle which made Marian contrast her 
sad and secret errand with what appeared their cheerful 
pursuit. 

Many hours of the previous night she had sat contem- 
plating the riches she was about to part with. To her the 
objects she looked upon were frdl of sweet and happy 
recollections ; to their next possessors they would have no 
value beyond their intrinsic worth. 

As she approached the spot which she had set out to 
seek, she involuntarily found herself slackening her pace, 
and as she pressed the case, concealed by the ample folds 
of her cloak, closer to her form, a doubt of her ability to 
go through her task arose; but in the next instant she 
remembered her father's harassing cough, and proceeded 
at her utmost speed, till she beheld the name she had been 
directed by the physician to ask for, in large letters over a 
low, heavy-looking house. Some articles of massive silvei 



108 EVENINGS AT IIADDON DALL. 

in cither window convinced her that she bad found the 
residence she sought. 

On entering the sliop, no one approached to speak to 
her — indeed, she had proceodcd to the entrance of an 
inner room ere even her appearance seemed to be re- 
marked. Stooping down, she inquired of a man who was 
employed in piUng silver dishes one on the other, if Mr. 
Needham was at home. The man looked at her for an 
instant, and then, without quitting his occupation, said, 
" You had better go forward and inquire." 

Mechanically she repeated the question to the next 
person she saw, who answered it by inquiring if she was 
known to Mr. Needham. 

" No," she replied ; " but I have a note for him from 
the gentleman who recommended me to come here." 

" Will you let me sec the note ?" said the man ; " per- 
ha])s I can attend to your business, without disturbing 
Mr. Needham, who is particularly engaged." 

Marian paused : the physician had told her to deliver 
the note herself to Mr. Needham, but it appeared he was 
engaged. As she was hesitating, the door of an adjoining 
apartment to that in which she stood was opened by a 
venerable-looking man, who came forth, accompanied by a 
younger one ; on perceiving a stranger, they both paused, 
and the elder one inquired if she had been attended to. 
There was something so kind and respectful in the accent 
of the speaker, that Marian at once regained her self 
possession, as she replied — 

" I have a note from Dr. R , which w'ill explain my 

business; but I hear jMr. Needham is engaged." 

" I am Mr. Needham," said her companion, "and will 
attend to you in five minutes. Do me the favour to be 
seated." 



THE FORTUNES Or THE GLENGARY. 109 

Marian presented the note, and as Mr. Needham 
perused it, she perceived a look of commiseration steal 
over his countenance. When he closed it, he looked 
kindly at- her, and said — 

"Pra;y walk into this room, where there is a fire; I 
will not keep you waiting." 

" In less than five minutes, Mr. Needham joined her, 
and, drawing a chair to the table, inquired how he could 
serve her, adding that Dr. R ^s note led him to con- 
clude that she might wish to change or dispose of some 
ornament. What a relief to IMarian, to have the want, so 
painful to proclaim, thus considerately anticipated ! She 
unlocked the box, which she had placed on the table, and 
replied — 

" These were my poor mother's jewels ; they were 
given me by my father, in happier days. Since then, 
our circumstances have become changed, and I wish to 
sell them." 

A pause of some moments ensued. Mr. Needham's 
eyes remained fixed on the case, when Marian timidly 
added — 

"Will you become their purchaser?" 

" My dear young lady," replied Mr. Needham, as with 
almost paternal afi"ection he looked at her, " have you well 
weighed the sacrifice you are making — are you aware of 
the value of these jewels ?" 

" Oh, yes," said Marian, as she burst into tears, " they 
were my mother's !" 

Inexpressibly touched by her reply, he continued, 
" Surely a portion of these would be sufficient for any 
momentary difficulties ? " 

" Alas ! " interrupted Marian, " ours are no momen- 
tary difficulties. My father's health has been for many 



110 EVKNINGS AT IIA l)I)()N HALL. 

months si.Aing under accumulated and unmerited losses ; 
an expensive journey, a residence in a warmer climate, are 
necessary for the preservation of his life, and this case 
contains the only means by which it can be accomplished 
without injury to others, which my father will never listen 
to." 

Mr. Needham looked kindly and encouragingly, as he 
said, " May I wait on you to-morrow, or would you prefer 
returning here ? It is a business I should like to reflect 
on." 

" I will come here," replied Marian ; " for my father 
must not know of my intention ; at least, not till it is 
beyond recall." 

"Be it so, then," returned her auditor. "I must, 
however, beg you to reflect well on the act you contem- 
plate, and I will consider if, and how far, I can assist 
your views. IMcanwhile, will you trust me w»th this case, 
that I may examine its contents?" 

"Assuredly," replied Marian; and she arose to depart 
and hurry home, her heart full of thankfulness for the 
hope held out of her project being crowned with success, 
and of gratitude to the kind physician who had recom- 
mended her so feelingly to the jeweller's notice ; for she 
felt convinced it was to his note she stood indebted for 
the amenity shown her by Mr. Needham. 

In part, her conjecture was right. Dr. R 's note 

had interested Mr. Needham in her favour ; but it was her 
own modest demeanour, her own unassuming but exem- 
plary sacrifice, which rivetted the merchant's good opinion, 
and disposed him to serve her to an extent and in a 
manner she little expected. 

On reaching home, Marian found that her father had 
risen late, and been so engaged with her brother, that he 



THE FORTUNES OF THE GLENGARY. Ill 

had not asked for her. When she entei'ed the sitting- 
room, she found Allan about to leave it. The livid pale- 
ness of his countenance terrified her. As she watched him 
descend the staircase, he seemed hardly able to support 
himself. She called to him to stop, but her voice fell un- 
heeded, as he rushed from the house. In her father's 
manner, no agitation was apparent ; and, fearful of alarm- 
ing him, she refrained from speaking of Allan's haggard 
look. 

The next morning, when she repeated her visit to the 
city, she found Mr. Needham evidently watching her 
arrival. He conducted her into the room she had before 
occupied. The jewel-case was on the table. Mr. Need- 
ham drew two chairs to the fire; and when seated, he 
observed, after a moment's hesitation, — 

" I am about to speak candidly to you, lady, though 
I hope, not so abruptly as to distress or offend you. An 
ornament in that case has revealed to me your name and 
family; and the few facts you yesterday related leave me 
in no doubt as to your father having been once known to 
me." 

"You know my father, sir?" interrupted Marian. 
" Oh, then, I am indeed fortunate in my application ; for 
you must be satisfied that I am only doing my duty in 
parting with these memorials of former years." 

" Your conduct is noble," said Mr. Needham ; " and 
I reverence the motive, though I cannot permit the act it 
would impel." 

Marian started, and became pale as death. Her hopes, 
which had been raised almost to certainty, seemed at once 
dispelled. Mr. Needham watched the effect of his words, 
and continued — 

" No, my dear young lady, I cannot, indeed, allow such 



112 EVINIXGS AT UADDON HALL. 

a sacrifice, the extent of which you do not know ; but 
though I cannot become a ])arty to your wishes, 1 must 
endeavour to prevail on you to adopt the plan which 
suggests itself to me. AVe will place your seal on this 
case of jewels, which must remain in my custody. I will 
advance the sum of 500/. for your journey and first year's 
expenses, and will bind myself for three succeeding years 
to place 300/. more in the hands of any banker where you 
may be residing, or as you may by letter direct. If, at the 
expiration of four years from this time, you cannot repay 
me the sums advanced, these jewels will become my pro- 
perty." 

" But I have no prospect," exclaimed Marian. " There 
is no possibility of my ever repaying the money. Indeed, 
sir, I cannot accept your generous ofifer. You might be- 
come a considerable loser, for the jewels may not be worth 
so much money." 

" "Well, well, that is my concern." 

" But all this is so unexpected, so extraordinary," again 
interposed Marian, " that I dare not concur in it unknown 
to my father." 

" And yet," replied ]\Ir. Needham, " you would have 
sold, irrevocably sold, without his knowledge, the very 
objects I propose to you to leave in my hands as a gua- 
rantee ? Ah, young lady, like many others you have been 
deceiving yourself, and have fostered a plan of your o\n\ 
suggestion, till you have ceased to perceive the real act of 
irretrievable disobedience it necessitated ; though you start 
from one far less complete, and with a chance of becoming 
less fatal, when proj)Oscd by another. Surely, the mere 
possibility of being able, at some future day, to regain 
these jewels, ought to be acceptable, considering them as 
a sacred treasure to a dauirhtcr's heart." 



THE FORTUNES OF TUE GLENGARY. 113 

Marian now burst into tears. Could Mr. Needliani, 
could any one, suppose that she did not feel the sacrifice 
to be one, only to be thought of as the means to enable 
her to fulfil a yet more sacred duty ? 

The worthy merchant allowed her to weep unrestrainedly 
for some time, and then taking her hand, he said, '' For- 
give me for having distressed you. I did it for your good. 
I see so much to praise and admire, that I felt it a duty to 
point out an equivocation which seemed unworthy of you. 
Do not let us lose time. I have prepared a receipt, which 
also contains my written promise not to open or deliver 
this case to any one within four years, without your 
order. You must, m exchange, give me your acknow- 
ledgment for 500/. as the first instalment of a bond which 
I have ordered my sohcitor to prepare, and which I shall 
also get signed by my son, the young man whom you, 
perhaps, remarked with me when I so accidentally found 
you waiting here yesterday ; for as this transaction must 
be one of a private nature, without any reference to the 
firm of which I am a member, I wish my son to become 
aware of its existence, in order that no difficulty or mis- 
understanding may arise in case of my death within the 
four years." 

Marian signed the papers Mr. Needham placed before 
her. She was so deeply penetrated by his conduct, as to 
be unable to express her thanks. To a less practised 
observer, or to a mind less prone to indulgence, she might 
have appeared ungrateful ; but Mr. Needham had, in his 
lifetime, conferred too many benefits not to be an expe- 
rienced judge of the impressions they produced, and 
Marian's tearful eyes and trembling frame were surer 
proofs to him of her gratitude than the most elaborate 
thanks, or the most eloquent language, she could have 

I 



114 EVENINGS AT HADDON HALL. 

uttered. When all was concluded, he draw her arm within 
his, and said he would have the pleasure of conducting 
her home, as his carriage was at the door. During their 
drive, he entreated her to lose no time in disclosing to her 
father the transaction she had completed, " It will be 
freed," he observed, "from every unpleasant feeling to 
both of us as soon as he is our confidant." 

" Oh ! Mr. Needham," cried Marian, " how can I ever 
thank you, much less repay you, for such magnanimity ?" 

" By giving me your solenm promise that you will not 
undertake any other affair of moment without consulting 
me upon it." 

" I promise solemnly and faithfully," said Marian. She 
looked up as she said this, as if to ratify her vow in 
heaven — when, standing close to the door of her home, 
at which they were just arrived, she beheld, to her ex- 
treme astonishment, Fergus the minstrel ! The carriage 
stopped. As Marian descended, she cast a hurried glance 
around, but the minstrel had vanished. 

The news of old Angus's sudden death had reached 
Allan (or, as he was more usually called. Master) of Glen- 
gary, while sitting in his room with a man who had for 
some months been his shadow. Wherever he went. Major 
Jarvis was sure to follow him. lie had become his friend, 
his adviser, almost, it might be said, his master: — it was 
the knowledge of Allan's haughty spirit which alone 
jirevented his appearing to be so ; for he feared to rouse a 
feeling which might snap the link between them before he 
had drawn it round his victim too tightly for escape. But 
the assumption of power was all that was wanting — the 
reality of it was absolute. 

" Good God !" exclaimed Allan, on openmg his father's 



THE FORTUNES OF THE GLENGARY. 115 

letter -■" what a frightful catastrophe! and may I not 
have been accessory to it ? Oh, how much better would 
it have been to have lost all ho])e of retrieving my diffi- 
culties, than that the life of a fellow-creature should have 
been saci'ificed \" 

"You talk in enigmas, Allan," said Jarvis; "what 
has happened, and what are you reproaching yourself 
with V 

But Allan was in no mood to answer; for a few- 
moments the better part of his nature was in the ascend- 
ant, and his heart really sympathized in his father's dis- 
tress at his poor old servant's loss; but, unhappily, too 
much guilt had already tainted his mind ; he had become 
too much the slave of evil passion not to turn from this 
goodly thought. With Allan, virtue was a solitary star, 
shining but for an instant, making the surrounding dark- 
ness visible. Jarvis, who had remained contemplating 
him in silence, now put his hand on his shoulder, saying — 

" Come, cheer up, Allan ; whatever has befallen you, 
I, for one, wall stand by you to the last — ay, even through 
shame and disgrace !" 

He had touched the right chord. Allan started up. 
"Disgrace! — shame and disgrace! no, no; no chance of 
that now ; the only tongue that could have dai'cd to accuse 
me is hushed in death. Jarvis, old Angus is dead I" 

"And you tell it me in that rueful tone ?" exclaimed 
the other. "Why, Master of Glengary, are you a man, 
and rejoice not at your escape ? While that old driveller 
lived, there was no certainty of your not being suspected ; 
now, you are indeed free from detection. Shew me the 
herald of this good news." And without waiting for pei - 
mission, he took up Sir Norman's letter, and read it 
through. 



116 EVENINGS AT UADDON UALL. 

"Dreadful ! is it not ?" said Allan. 

"The man who could have any feeling but joy in its 
perusal could be no friend of yours, Allan. But you 
do not seem prepared to take advantage of this, as you 
assuredly must do/' 

" How is that V said Allan, who had relapsed into 
deep thought. 

" Why, you must boldly accuse him of havinjj sold the 
missing deeds to your father's enemy, and make his death 
appear a sudden revulsion of his conscience." 

" But did you finish my father's letter ? did you see 
that the minstrel may now know whatever Angus sus- 
pected?" asked Allan. 

"True," said Jarvis; "but he must be accused as his 
accomplice ; his absence at such a time would almost fix 
the charge on him. Shall I sj)irit him away?" 

" You are ever ready, Jarvis, and I have had too many 
proofs of your talents, not to trust implicitly to you to 
advise me for the best ; but for some time past a thought 
has tormented me — and yet " 

" Out with it, man," cried Jarvis, " unkennel this 
thought ; let us look at it, and see if it cannot be made a 
scourge for others instead of ourselves." 

" I will tell it you," replied Allan ; " there is a reluct- 
ance and a shuffling in the manner of old Isaacs, whenever 
I refer to those deeds, which alarms me. * They are 
voluminous,' he says, ' and extracts from them must 
necessarily be long — or this being the vacation time, he 
has few clerks at home/ or some such excuse, instead of 
fixing a time for their return." 

" Well, and what is the hurry for their return, except 
that you are kept out of your money ? But I can help 
you on a little longer." 



"HE FORTUNES OF THE GLENGARY. 117 

" Isaacs does not want to keep the money back ; he 
has even given me a part," interrupted Allan. 

Jarvis remained silent, while reflecting on what his 
fi'iend liad said, and endeavouring to find a cause for the 
Jew^s parting with the money before he was obliged to do 
so. " Why," thought he, " should he care to retain pos- 
session of the deeds?" but as he could imagine no cause, 
he resolved to go and see the Jew next morning, for the 
purpose of interrogating him ; and turning to Allan, he 
carelessly inquired if he would accompany him to a party 
to which they had both been invited ; but Allan declined, 
preferring, for once, to pass the evening alone, to joining 
the heartless set in whose society he had lost, not only his 
money, but that feeling of honour and integrity which can 
alone command the respect of others, or ensure our own. 

Allan sat musing over a dying fire, the expiring embers 
of which gave out fitful and uncertain light. A shade \\ as 
over the only candle which had been placed by his orders 
in a distant part of the room, and thei-e was just sufficient 
light to distinguish the surrounding objects, to which habit 
had familiarized the sight, but barely enough to recognise 
any new ones. Many preceding events of his life became 
present to his imagination. The look of pity and mistrust 
with which old Angus had appeared to watch his every 
word the last day he was with his family seemed before 
him. Some sound made him start ; footsteps seemed to 
approach, he fancied that the door was opened softly. An 
indistinct dread of harm seized on Allan, and rooted him 
to his seat. He felt that some one was near him — so 
near, that their very breathing had become audible ; but 
still he sat spellbound, till, from the receding step, and 
the door being again closed, he imagined hir:>self once 
more alone. 



118 EVEMNGS AT IIADUON HALL. 

On lool ing round, no fonn was visible ; but on the 
table a letter had been placed. Ajjproaching the candle, 
Allan tore the letter open and read — 

" When the missing is restored, then only shall Allan 
of Glengary know peace !" 

Who could have written those words ? His secret 
must be known to some one, whom he did not even sus- 
pect. And at this thought, his stern, unbending mind, 
became harrowed by fear. Again he sat down and tried 
to reflect calmly; but it could not be — and the night was 
spent in feverish and restless musings. 

The day broke, and he thought of retiring to bed, but 
soon after fell asleep in his chair. His servant, surprised 
at not hearing him, went to his room, and not finding him 
in his bed, entered the sitting-room. A noise purposely 
made, roused the sleeper, who exclaimed — " Go instantly, 
William, and tell Major Jarvis that I wish to see him ! 
— Fool, fool that I was," added he, as his servant left the 
room, " to fall asleej), when these hours of delay may 
prove fatal!" 

As he ])aeed the room with impatient step, his eye 
caught sight of himself in the glass. Turning hastily, he 
stood for some moments contemplating the haggard fea- 
tures it retlected, and then with a shudder sat down, and 
burying his face in his hands, remained immovable till 
AVilliam's return. " ^lajor Jarvis's compliments, and he 
will be here in half an hour," was the message he received; 
to which he merely rej)lied, without altering his position, 
" Leave nie till he comes." 

Somewhat more than an hour intervened, and then 
Major Jarvis's voice, humming a popular air, was heard. 
It grated on Allan's ears, and seemed to rouse him to 
anger, for it was in a harsh and almost rude tone that he 



THE FORTUNES OF THE GLENGARY. Jl9 

exclaimed — " Jarvis, my patience is almost worn out^ wait- 
ing for you ! " 

Jarvis^s quick eye perceived that something more than 
usual disturbed his host, and changing his gay and cheer- 
ful tone to one of interest, he replied — 

" I should have been more expeditious, had you sent 
word that you were impatient for me. But what has 
happened, my dear fellow ? you look as if you had been up 
all night.-" 

" And so I have,^' said Allan ; " nor did I fall asleep 
in my chair till after daylight. And yet, during the 
night, some one entered here — some one stole on my 
privacy; and I — fool, dotard that I am — let them escape 
to accuse and ruin me ! " 

" Why, you are still dreaming, Allan ! Some one en- 
tered here — some one came to do you mischief — and you 
let them go without interruption ? Why, this is the coin- 
age of an overwrought brain." 

" And this letter," cried Allan, as he held it to his 
friend — "is this, too, madness?" 

Upon reading the few words it contained, Jarvis said — 

" Allan, there is something in all this I do not under- 
stand. Do be calm, and tell me, if you can, if any one 
entered your apartment, or how this letter was conveyed 
to you?" 

Allan then related the sensation he had experienced, 
his conviction that some one was near him, and the in- 
ability he felt to move or speak, and that on rousing him- 
self he had perceived the letter lying on the table. 

" Know you the writing ?" asked Jarvis. 

Allan shook his head. 

" Then all rests on conjecture," observed Jarvis ; " and 
the only way to come at the truth will be to consider, 



1.20 EVKMXGS AT UADDON HALL. 

first, who can be acquainted with the circmustance that 
letter alludts to; and, secondly, for what purpose you are 
informed of their knowledge. The latter will be more 
puzzling than the former to decide on, for I entertain no 
doubt that the minstrel must be the person. But what 
his design may be is not so clear." 

"As I thought," exclaimed Allan ; " all is lost !" 

" And I see everything gained," replied Jarvis. 

" The minstrel is aware of what Angus suspected. But 
dead men's suspicions furnish no proofs. He must be 
accused as Angus's accomphce, which will appear probable 
to those who were present at their last interview. But 
though accused, he must never be brought to justice. 
Some way must be found to dispose of him ; but the first 
step is the accusation. Write boldly to your father." 

" ]\Iy father w ill never believe harm of either of his 
servants." 

" He must be made to believe it, or at least to act as 
if he did. Give him no choice ; but write yourself to the 
man he has employed to defend the suit, stating your 
belief that Angus was the thief, and desire them to secure 
the minstrel as his acconijdice." 

Allan mechanically wrote as Jarvis dictated, but once 
or twice urged the latter to go to Isaacs, and induce him 
to give certain documents into his possession. 

""We will go together," replied Jarvis, "when your 
letters are finished." Not that he expected any argument 
would induce the Jew to grant such a request; but he 
wished to form his own conclusions as to wlicther he had 
any hidden motive for detaining them, beyond the common 
trick of swelling his bill by making delays in the business. 

On arriving at his hf)use, they were told that he was 
particularly engaged, and could not be spoken with. The 



THE FORTUNES OP THE GLENGARY. 12] 

same occurred on the next and many following days ; but 
M'hen, at the end of a month, Allan did get admittance, he 
found old Isaacs' manner, which had before been cringing 
to sycophancy, abrupt and insolent. He gave Allan no 
time to make his request, but poured forth a stream of 
abuse, calling him a swindler, who had taken advantage 
of his unsuspecting nature, to rob him of his money under 
false pretences, which had well-nigh involved him in a suit 
with an honest and injured man. 

Allan remained for some time silent with astonishment, 
but at last said, haughtily — 

"You are under some misapprehension, Mr. Isaacs. 
I have borrowed money from you, but on your owa terms, 
be it remembered ; and I have given you every proof you 
desired of my future inheritance." 

"Proof, indeed ! Yes — proof that you have no inhe- 
ritance at all ! Oh ! just as though you did not know all 
this ! Do you pretend that you did not know that your 
father, and your grandfather before him, had been for 
years past wronging another out of his property?" 

Allan's blood was in arms. His father, his grand- 
father, accused of roguery ! — their honesty impugned bj 
an extortioner like the man before him ! Foaming with 
rage, he exclaimed — 

" How dare you, old villain, speak thus of your bet- 
ters? I tell you" — and he approached him with his fist 
clenched — " I tell you, it is false ; and that if you again 
dare to assert it, I will tear your tongue from your un- 
hallowed mouth ! " 

" Help ! help !" screamed the Jew. 

But no one came, and Allan saw the moment Nvhen he 
might regain all he desired to obtain. 

"Give me the deeds, base villain!" he exclaimed, as 



TOO 



EVENINGS AT ilADDUN HALL 



he seized him by the throat, "or I will be the death of 
thee!" 

The Jew's fiendish laugh, as he said, " That can I not 
do, for they are in the hands of their rightful owner," 
made Allan's hand relax its grasp, whde with a heavy 
groan he fell, like one shot, at the feet of the usurer. 

It was many hours after this seene ere Allan awoke to 
perfect consciousness ; he was then in bed, both his arms 
bandaged, by which he conjectured that he had been bled. 
Raising himself, he put back the curtain ; a night-lamp 
was burning ; there was no one in the room but his ser- 
vant AVilliam, who was buried in a sound sleep. Allan's 
ideas were at first confused, and though aware that some 
misfortune had befallen, or some sudden illness overtaken 
him, he could not recollect anything distinctly; but by 
degrees the mists which had obscured his reason were 
withdrawn, and the whole dreadful truth became present. 
He perceived, that though intentionally innocent of the 
result, his criminal removal of the doeds, to enable him to 
raise money, had placed them in the power of his enemy, 
and that virtually he was guilty of the ruin of his family, 
and the stigma on his grandfather's reputation. 

Hours passed on ; the servant still slept, while Allan's 
soul was torn by remorse. " I w ill go to my father," he 
said, " I will avow all. He can but curse me. And what 
curse can be more bitter than my own despair?" 

Allan made an effort to rise, but soon found that be 
was too weak to effect it, and sank back on his pillow 
again, to reflect on the enormity of his conduct towards 
a parent who had been only too indulgent and forbearing, 
under his many acts of aggression. He remembered the 
solemn promise his father had exacted, that whatever 



THE FORTUNES OF THE GLENGARY. 123 

were his crimes (for such the chieftain designated his 
thoughtless expenditure) they should always be confided 
to him — and that when, in the breach of that promise, 
he had sought those means for self-relief, at which, even 
in the moment of commission, his soul shrunk back ap- 
palled — when he was stealthily conveying away, like a 
thief, those deeds to his room — he had encountered the 
venerable form of old Angus, — and the shame of that 
moment became again present. He again saw the stern 
and searching eye bent upon him, for though he had 
assumed a tone of bravado, and even presumed to insult 
the aged servant, from that hour he had felt himself a 
degraded being. He foresaw that his mind must be on 
the rack till he could replace those deeds ; but little did he 
think or imagine the abyss in which honour, reputation, 
wealth, and peace, were to become engulfed by his ab- 
straction of them. Even now it seemed a dream — a 
dream too horrible to be true. Might not Isaacs have 
deceived him ? 

At that moment the door of his chamber was opened. 
It was Jarvis who entered. His step awoke the servant, 
and he started up. Jarvis inquired how his master had 
been. " He has slept soundly all night," replied William. 
" When he awakes," continued Jarvis, " do not answer 
any questions he may ask you. The surgeon says his 
mind must be kept tranquil, or there will be great mischief. 
If he is sensible when he awakes, you had better send for 
me ;" and with this admonition his friend left the room, 
without even approaching his bed. 

As soon as he was gone, William put some coals on 
the fire, trimmed the lamp, and again settled himself to 
sleep, leaving Allan to his bitter reflections. It was long 
after daybreak, when, nearly choked with thirst, he asked 



121 EVKNINGS AT IIADDOX HALL. 

for di'ink, and having swallowed it^ again closed his eycS; 
as if he could, by shutting out the light, lessen the intense- 
ness of his anguish. 

Not for many a past year had Allan prayed with the 
fervour and faith of that lonely night. The misfortune 
which had befallen him was too great for his stunned senses 
to comprehend its full extent; but the heartless neglect of 
his servant, who had lived with him from a boy j the luke- 
warm inquiries of the man who called himself his friend, 
were bitter lessons. 11 is high and noble-minded father, 
his gentle sister, how different would have been their watch 
and their care ; and yet, if what Isaacs had said were in- 
deed true, never might he hope to behold either of thera 
again. 

" Better to know the worst," exclaimed he, mentally, 
" than to grow mad on one's own fancies;" and calling 
to William, he desired he would tell him how long he had 
been in bed, and what had befallen him before being placed 
there. William hesitated, and Allan was proceeding, with 
something of his habitual impetuosity, to insist on being 
answered, when Major Jarvis again entered the room. 
This time he went to the bed, took Allan's ha;id in his, 
but at the same time placed his finger on his lip to indicate 
the necessity for silence ; but Allan in)plored Jarvis to tell 
him the whole truth. "Have I been mad," said he, "or 
am I the destroyer of my race ?" 

" Neither," said Jarvis; "but, my dear fellow, you 
must be calm — you must not " 

" Preach calmness to others," cried Allan, as he tore 
the bandages from his arm, and with all the artificial 
strength given by fever, attempted to spring from his bed. 
"Tell me all — all — or I will find some means of dis- 
covering it, though at the risk of life." 



THE FORTUNES OF THE GLENGARY. 125 

Jarvis, terrified at the vehemence of his manner and 
the wildness of his eye, promised, if he would but compose 
himself, to relate all he knew; and Allan, sinking back on 
his pillow, made signs that he was attentive. 

" Terrified at your long absence,'' said Jarvis, " I pro- 
ceeded to old Isaacs, who accused you of having tried to 
take his life, and confessed that, to preserve it, he had dis- 
closed a secret which he had sworn to keep unknown." 

" Go on," said Allan; " did he confide to you the nature 
of that disclosure ?" 

" Yes," replied Jarvis ; " he told me that immediately 
after you had left his house on the first day he refused to 
see us, an aged stranger called, and besought him, as he 
valued his own soul, to declare whether or not he was in 
possession of the title-deeds of the Glengary estate, and if 
so, for what sum he would relinquish and place them in 
his hands. Of course old Isaacs was too subtle to give an 
answer which could commit himself; but he endeavoured 
to extract from his simple-minded visitor on what grounds 
he supposed such an improbability as his being possessed 
of them, and who it was who would be willing to bid for 
them, supposing he could fm-nish a clue to where they 
might be found. The unwary man, whom I have since 
discovered to have been no other than Fergus the minstrel, 
did not hesitate to confide to old Isaacs the discovery made 
by your father, of the loss of these title-deeds, and the pos- 
sible advantage which this loss might give a certain IMr. 
Muir, an impostor, who had threatened to dispossess hio 
honoured master of his inheiutancc. He related, likewise, 
the steward's sudden seizure, and the charge he had given 
him, in his dying hour, to depart from the castle, and 
never to return till he had traced these deeds, and re- 
stored them to their rightful owner. A long life passed 



126 EVENINGS AT IIAinxJN HALL. 

in faithiul service had enabled the old steward, he said, tc 
collect a considerable sum of money, which he had ordered 
him to expend for the release of these deeds from the 
custody of whoever might possess them. 

" ' And why/ inquired Isaacs, ' do you think fit to 
regard me as their jailor?' 

" ' "Why that,' replied Fergus, ' is a question I would 
rather not answer, because my old friend, when he charged 
me to get back these deeds, also charged me to preserve 
the honour of the family intact. But I did not apply to 
you without being pretty sure that I was right, though I 
don't wish to mention the name of one I have seen visit 
you within the hour.' 

" ' You must leave me your address, my friend, and 
call again to-morrow,' was Isaacs' reply; and anxious to be 
alone, to reflect on the best mode of turning this interview 
to advantage, he dismissed his visitor. 

" Mr. Muir's professional men," continued Jarvis, 
" were known to Isaacs, and to Edinburgh he instantly 
repaired, and by degrees discovered from them that their 
case against Sir Norman rested on a deed of sale from 
your grandfather, who, when in great difficulty, sold the 
reversion of his estate, under a promise that, during his 
life, the transaction should never be made known. The 
purchaser's agent was the only being privy to the affair, for 
Sir Alexander would not confide it to his own. It was to 
the present j\Ir. Muir's father that the sale was made, who 
soon afterwards became, by the failure of a house in Cal- 
cutta, a beggar, and left Europe to make a second fortune. 
A few years after he died, and so did his agent. Both 
these events happened in Sir Alexander Ramsaj^'s lifetime. 
The present claimant was but a child at the period of his 
father's death, and only within a vei y few years, by a search 



THE FORTTTNKS OF THE GLENGARY. 127 

into that father's papers^ became cognizant of those rights 
which he is now determined to prosecute to the utmost 
stretch of the law. Mr. Muir considers that Sir Norman's 
conduct has been so offensive, that the suit has become as 
much a matter of pride as a struggle for property. 

" ' But/ observed Isaacs, * it is a suit which cannot 
stand. A simple deed of sale without any support, and 
with every probability against it, will make but little way 
against old prejudices and established rights. \Mio will 
believe that the title-deeds would be left with the Glengary 
family V 

" ' We must,^ said the agent, ' force Sir Norman to 
produce these deeds. Some endorsement may have been 
made on them, which will establish our case.^ 

" ' And should there be nothing of the sort,' observe'! 
Isaacs, 'what then?' 

*' ' Why, then we must rest on the truth of our case, 
lame as are its premises. Mr. Muir has ample wealth, 
and will carry it from court to court till he gets his 
rights.' 

" ' To get the title-deeds into your possession were a 
simpler process,' said Isaacs, with apparent calmness. 
But while he spoke he kept his eye steadfastly fixed on 
the man he addressed. 

i( I Why, it wants no ghost to tell us that !' exclaimed 
the agent, with a laugh ; ' a deed of sale, with the title- 
deeds in hand, were tantamount to possession.' 

" ' Then why not obtain them ? What would you give 
to any one who could put you on their track V 

" ' Their own terms, were such a thing possible.' 

" ' I will communicate with a friend,' replied Isaacs ; 
and departed satisfied with his first essay. 



128 EVENINGS Al HADDON HALL. 

" The ft)]lo\ving moiiiing brought not only Mr. Muir's 
agent, but his advocate, to old Isaacs' lodging. 

" It is useless," continued Jarvis, " to repeat all the 
old usurer advances in extenuation of the act he committed, 
ur his pretended conviction that he was acting for the 
benefit of the injured in parting with these deeds; for 
neither you nor I should believe one word of it, while 
we should feel certain that the 10,000/. he has received 
was his sole inducement to this treachery. An oath of 
secrecy was exacted from him, and his breach of it places 
him in some measure in our power. I have made use of 
it to insist on his seizing on the minstrel, and conveying 
him to some place where he may remain concealed, and 
from whence escape will be impossible." 

" "What is the oljject of this fresh crime ?" faintly in- 
quired Allan. 

" I know not what you may term crime," said Jarvis, 
" nor why you should defend an old rascal whose folly has 
destroyed your family. AVhat matters it whether the act 
spring from guilt or folly when the results arc fatal ? 
Do try to behave like a rational being, Allan, and bless 
your stars that one such idiot as old Fergus is alive in the 
world, to save you from all future fear of detection." 

"But what shall hide from my own conscience the 
awful truth, that it was my cursed in)prudence and base 
abstraction of my father's papers, which has been the real 
cause of his ruin ?" 

" Not a bit of it, Allan ; how can you be so weak as 
not to perceive that this catastrophe must have occu"red ? 
The enemy of your house is rolling in wealth. Nothing 
could have prevented his gaining a verdict, sooner or later. 
The suit might have been a prolonged jne, but what could 



THE FORTUNES OF THE GLENGARY. 129 

that have availed your father^ except to involve liim in a 
labyrinth of debt. Believe me, Allan, it would be wiser to 
think of the future, with a view to remedy some of the 
evils it 'portends, than to dwell on the past, which is irre- 
mediable." 

" Why talk of the future ? To me the future is a 
blank ; henceforth I am a beggar and a disgraced man V 

" You certainly bid fair to be both, if you indulge ir 
your present state of mind, and all my exertions canno' 
prevent it ; but I must say it is a hard case, after years u 
friendship and devotion, to meet with such a return ; for 3 
need not tell you that your ruin will be mine. I have hai 
no thought of self-preservation distinct from you ; you 
good or evil fortune I must share." 

Allan was touched by the calm, dejected tone, in which 
Jarvis spoke. Within the last few hours he had for the 
first time doubted his friendship ; but habit, long depen - 
dence on his judgment, and a softness of feeling, induced 
by his bodily weakness, got the better of the doubts which 
solitude and reflection had raised. Putting out his hand, 
he grasped Jarvis' s, and soon after, exhausted by conver- 
sation and argument, sank into a deep slumbei', from 
which he awoke more than ever the slave of him whom 
he called his friend. 

Jarvis made arrangements with old Isaacs to wait two 
years for the portion of the money he had advanced before 
the minstrel's visit, for which Allan gave his note of hand, 
and both the young men left town to join their regiment. 

It has been stated that Allan's correspondence with 
his family during their residence in the cottage was not 
frequent. He had once, in a moment of good impulse, 
entreated Sir Norman no longer to continue his allowance : 



130 EVENINGS A IIAODON HALL. 

but bis father had persisted in doint; so, though its pay- 
ment swallowed more than half his small ineome. 

" Remember, Allan," said he, " that the terms debt 
and disgrace are in my mind synonymous, and that the 
honour of our family having been attacked by a foul 
aspersion on the dead, it behoves the living to be doubly 
vigilant in guarding theirs from suspicion/' 

But Allan, alas ! was too deeply involved to be able to 
extricate himself. The only being aware of his difficulties 
always made light of them, and often, though apparently 
without design, induced their increase ; while his victim, 
though sensible of the evil, had not courage to act but as 
he was tutored. His mind had so accustomed itself to 
this subjection that it at last became powerless in its own 
cause ; thought of the future, reflection on the past, were 
alike painful, and both were resolutely banished. 

At the period of Sir Norman's visit to London, Allan 
was also forced to be there, for the purpose of negotiating 
another loan ; but he contrived that, at least to his father, 
his journey should wxar the mask of filial and brotherly 
interest. The first sight of Marian converted this pre- 
tended feeling into something like reality ; but the stings 
of conscience, each time he looked at her young and en- 
during form, each struggle that he witnessed for resignation 
under her father's deprivations, were too severe, and his 
visits were as rare as he could make them, without the 
fear of hearing some remonstrance from both of them. 
But Sir Norman's mind was too deeply imbued with grief 
to notice even the shortness and unfrequeney of his son's 
visits, and his sister was too proud to sue for what she 
wad imagined would be joyfully given. 

His agitatioii on the morning Marian returned from 



THE FORTUNES OF THE GLENGARY. 131 

her first visit to the city was caused by his having, while 
talking to his father, approached the window, and from 
thence beheld the minstrel. After that day, Allan no 
more visited his father or sister, and when, prior to their 
own departure for London, they sent to his lodging, 
they were told he had been suddenly ordered back to his 
regiment. 

Something less than three years after the period ot 
which we have been speaking, an elderly gentleman was 
seated at an open window of one of the houses situated 
on the side of the hill of Cintra. The evening was sultry, 
and every now and then a flash of lightning played about 
the shrouds of the various vessels anchored off the bay of 
Lisbon. A young girl sat at his feet ; she had been reading 
to him j but the night had come on them so quickly, that 
she had been forced suddenly to resign her occupation. 
The book still rested on her knees, but her eyes were 
turned upwards to her father^s face. Silently, but not 
tearlessly, she watched his breathing, which seemed 
unusually oppressed ; and as the flashes of lightning 
became more frequent, and illumined the apartment, she 
fancied that his pale features wore a look of pain and 
distress. 

"The coming storm oppresses you, my father,^^ said 
she, as she arose to open the lattice window; but not a 
breath of air penetrated into the apartment, while the rich 
perfumes from the orange-trees, and the aromatic odours 
of the wild thyme, served to render the overcharged atmo- 
sphere still more oppressive. 

" Do not leave me, dearest,^' said the invalid ; and in 
an instant Marian was at Sir Norman Ramsay^s side, with 
one arm passed round his neck to support him as he leant 



132 '^.VENINGS AT HADDON HAM.. 

torward, trying to catch a biratli of fresher air. Thunder 
might now be heard in the distance ; and it was evident 
tliat one of those awful storms with which Lisbon is often 
visited, was about to take place. 

An hour passed, and not a di'op of rain had yet fallen ; 
but suddenly, an intense glare illumined the horizon. 
Marian was not sure if her father perceived it, and there- 
fore restrained her emotion ; when suddenly alarum bells 
were heard in every direction, and persons were observed, 
at each flash of lightning, to be running to and fro, as 
though conscious of some impending calamity. Marian 
looked closely at her father, and perceived that he had 
fallen asleep. Not for worlds would she have distui'bed 
him by withdrawing her arm; but her suspense almost 
amounted to agony as she observed the blaze extend and 
become more lurid. Sir Norman^s servant entered, and 
Marian, pointing with her disengaged hand to the light, 
whispered to him to hasten and inquire the cause. In a 
few moments he returned, to tell her that a vessel had 
most probably been struck by lightning, and that it was 
in flames. Heart-stricken at the idea of what her fellow- 
creatures were enduring, Marian continued to gaze at the 
terrific sight. The sparks arose in myriads to the clouds, 
and then descended like a shower of fire. Again the 
alarum bells sounded louder, and Sir Norman awoke. 

" What is it V he asked. " Where are you, my child ? 
Are you safe, or what has happened ?" 

" You have been dreaming, dear father,'' said Marian ; 
" but surely no dream could equal yonder dreadful reality \" 
And, completely overcome, she sank on her knees, and 
burst into tears. 

Sir Norman's servant now repeated to his master the 
uitelligence he had gained respecting the distant light, 



THE FORTUNES OF THE GLEXGARY, 133 

jiud both father and child prayed fervently for the crew of 
that burning ship. 

At length the light grew less intense,, and then became 
quenched ; but how many lives might have been quenched 
with it ? Neither of those lonely watchers dared ask of 
each other what might be the thought of either ; neither 
found courage to articulate ; but in their very silence there 
was sad foreboding. 

The servant had gone of his own accord to discover 
what had been done by the boatmen. Many of them had 
put to sea ; and as the last effort of the flame gave out a 
brighter light, a raft had been seen floating towards the 
shore. 

Daybreak found Sir Norman and his daughter still in 
that same apartment : the storm was over, and the glorious 
orb of day was rising, in all his calm and effulgent beautj^ 
directly in front of that window whence they had a few 
hours before watched the light so fraught with terror and 
dismay, the terrific sight of which not all the beauty of 
that sunrise, not all the serenity of the opening day, could 
erase from their minds. 

Marian besought her father to retire to rest ; but as 
&oon as she had conducted him to his chamber, she re- 
turned to the same spot, to weep and to pray. Not a 
soul, it would seem, had tasted of rest that night, for at 
every moment she discerned their neighbours returning 
from the city. But much as she desired to hear all they 
had learnt — anxious as she felt to discover if any of the 
boats had reached the raft, and how many had been saved 
— she felt powerless to move, or to ask these questions. 

Did some mysterious foreboding whisper to Marianas 
heart that on the safety of that raft her future life might 
depend ? Born in a country where superstition held sway 



134 EVENINGS AT HADDON HAIL. 

— nurtured among those who were its willing disciples — 
the scenes of her own early lite so mysterious and un- 
fathomable — what wonder if Marian dwelt on certain 
feelings till she believed them tokens of good, or warnings 
of coming evil. In the present instance there was a con- 
fusion in her ideas, whether for good or evil she knew not; 
but she felt that the foregoing night would hold some 
sway over her future fate. 

Before Sir Norman was stirring, Marian had become 
acquainted with the fact that several persons had been 
saved upon a raft, whence one had been precijjitated and 
lost. The vessel was a Turkish felucca, coming direct 
from Tripoli, her crew mostly Turks ; but one of the per- 
sons saved, though habited in an Eastern dress, was an 
Englishman ; the one who had perished was also said to 
be of the same nation. 

Towards evening, Marian was informed that the Eng- 
lishman who had been saved requested admission to her 
])rcsence ; and, anxious to show hospitality to a country- 
man, she immediately received hira. His form was noble, 
and his features, though somewhat bronzed by an Asiatic 
sun, bore the stamp of English birth, while his Eastern 
costume gave an air of chivalrous bearing, which the dress 
of his own country might not have bestowed on him. His 
countenance bore the marks of dejection and suffering, 
and when he spoke, Marian fancied that his features were 
not wholly unknown to her. 

" What can my father have the pleasure to do for you V 
was her first question. "Though unequal to receiving a 
etranger himself, he bids me offer you whatever hospitality 
you will accept, or any other assistance you may require." 

" Lady," said the stranger, " I perceive that your 
recollection has not kept pace with mine. Tlie cursory 



THE FORTUNES OF THE GLENGARY. 135 

glance I had of you at yoxir first visit to my father, Mr. 
Needham, has never been forgotten." 

" Is it possible V exclaimed Marian. " Mr. Needham's 
son must, indeed, be warmly welcomed by my father and 
myself ;" and as she spoke, she held out her hand, on 
which the stranger pressed his lips, with an air of the 
deepest respect. " Let me acquaint my father with this 
unexpected happiness," added Marian ; but Horace Need- 
ham arrested her step, and entreated that she would first 
listen to all he had to relate. 

It was to spare Sir Norman's feelings, he said, that he 
had been induced to seek this interview with her. The 
sad forebodings which had crept over Marianas mind again 
became present, and, pale as death, she entreated to be 
told what fresh sorrow awaited them. 

Horace looked at her agitated countenance till he 
almost lost his own self-command, and she had again to 
urge him to tell her the worst, ere he found voice to say, 
" Many of us left the burning ship ; but all had not 
strength to reach the shore. The one who perished had 
been long ill ; he was worn out by sorrow and sickness ; 
accident made us acquainted; his sufferings and his self- 
upbraidings made me his fi'iend. It was at my suggestion 
that he sought this shore — it was my promise to gain for 
him a pardon he dared not ask, which induced him to 
embark in that ill-fated vessel." 

Horace paused to watch the effect of his recital, but 
Marian neither spoke nor moved, and he continued — "No 
earthly power could have long prolonged his life — no, not 
even a father's pity, a sister's love !" Again he paused, 
but this time it was to receive the death-like form of 
Marian in his arms. She had felt the truth, and compre» 
nended that Allan was the lost one. 



136 EVEN'INGS AT IIADIXJN HALL. 

Ilcr swoon was long ; and though Horace carried her 
to an oj)en window, and used such means as were at hand 
to revive her, it was not till he had begun to fancy that 
she would no more recover, that she slowly opened her 
eyes. After a few moments, something like warmth re- 
turned to tlic fair form which he had been holding in his 
arms, cold and rigid as in death. She looked at him, and 
the deep sympathy with which he regarded her was suffi- 
cient evidence that she had not mistaken the misfortune 
he wished to acquaint her with. To think of her father, 
to lose all feeling for self in her anxiety for him, had so 
long been the occupation of Marian's life, that it was at 
the thoughts of his grief that she now^ wept. 

Horace remained silent : he allowed her tears to flow 
without an attempt to arrest their course. No words he 
might utter could, in that heavy hour, he knew, bring 
consolation ; but when a tear fell on Marian's hands, 
which were held in his, and she knew that tear flowed not 
from her own eyes, she felt that the sympathy of at least 
one heart was with her, and at length she gained courage 
to inquire and listen, before proceeding to her father, to 
some of the following particulars. 

Horace Needham had said that accident brought him 
acquainted with Allan of Glengary, but it was an accident 
which not only riveted their intimacy, but turned Allan 
from his path of evil to one of sincere and earnest re- 
pentance. 

From an early age, travel had been the darling pursuit 
of Horace Needham, and the Eastern countries his favourite 
ground of search and exploit. An only child, he was his 
father's idol, and his society, whenever he did enjoy it, 
gave a charm to his existence; but never had the fond 



THE FORTUNES OF THE GLENGARY. 137 

father sought to restrain his son from pursuing the path 
which seemed necessary to his happiness. When with him 
he saw so much in his character to admire and be proud 
of, that he felt, in whatever chme fancy might lead him, 
honour and right feehng would be his safeguards. 

On parting from his father, he had promised that this 
should be his last expedition to the East, and that on his 
return he would tax his father's hospitality for a continued 
residence at his country-seat. On entering Turkey, by the 
Danube, he had found himself benighted at the town of 
Semhn, and though nothing could be less inviting than the 
fare spread for travellers, or the beds prepared for their 
repose, Horace felt no repugnance to make trial of both. 

The sleeping apartment to which he was conducted 
was not untenanted. On one of its four wretched pallets 
a fellow-traveller was stretched, apparently asleep, and 
Horace soon become convinced that the sharer of his 
room was in a state of delirium; his wild ravings were 
awful ; and sleep being banished from his eyes, Horace 
listened with pity to the dreadful self-accusations and re- 
morse the wretched man was pouring forth. At length, 
he moved, and springing from his bed with the look of a 
maniac, rushed to the windov/ with the intention, as it 
appeared, of jumping out; but the window, which was in 
the roof, was so consti'ucted with closely-fitting iron bars, 
(possibly to prevent the entrance of any one from the 
neighbouring houses by a terrace extending along them.,) 
that he could not eifect his purpose. He then approached 
a small valise which was placed close to his bed ; Horace 
distinctly saw a pistol in his hand ; he sat down on his bed> 
still grasping it. Some words he uttered seemed as though 
be wished to pray ; but again the delirium returned, and 
be proceeded with rapidity in the same strain as before. 



138 EVENINGS AT H ADDON HALL. 

Horace did not witlidraw his eye from him for a single 
instant ; he dared not call for assistance, fearing to render 
the unhappy man more desperate, and increase the danger 
he apprehended from the pistol ; but he felt that on his 
calmness and presence of mind both his own and another's 
life might depend. 

The raving ceased — the stranger evidently now prayed 
— the words of " Father — Marian — forgive me, and pray 
for my soul !" though almost whispered, were heard by 
the listener. In another instant he saw the pistol raised 
to his head. 

There was no time for thought, but impulse guided 
Horace; with one spring he was by the unhappy man's 
side — his ami turned the direction of the pistol — which 
went off, without injury to either. 

The noise of the report roused the household, and 
Horace, still holding the stranger in his grasp, endea- 
voured to assuage their fears, by declaring the report of 
the pistol to have been an accident. As soon as all was 
again still without the chamber, Horace besought the 
stranger to go to his bed, endeavour to compose himself, 
and thank God for having preserved him from the com- 
mission of the crime he meditated. 

A change had come over the person he addressed ; 
fever and delirium had passed away, and were succeeded 
by a state of weakness bordering on inanition. He sighed 
heavily, but for some hours uttered not a word. At length 
he fell asleep, and as Horace sat watching him, he felt 
convinced that the heavy sweat which now stood on his 
brow, though indicative of illness, must preclude any fear 
of an immediate return of fever. When the sleeper awoke, 
he cast his eyes around, and, on perceiving Horace, beck- 
oned him to approach his bed ; he took his hand, pressed 



THE FORTUNES OF THE GLENGA.RY. 139 

it, and said, in a very low tone, — "There are those who 
may hereafter thank you for having saved me from 
suicide." 

Horace sent for a doctor, who pronounced the sick man 
to be in a very precarious state, and declared his removal 
quite impossible without imminent danger. For many 
days, Horace watched by him with unremitting care. As 
soon as he became well enough to converse, he entered 
voluntarily on his position, and confessed to Horace that 
for several weeks he had been meditating suicide, as the 
only means of saving himself from disgrace. 

" My life," added he, " can bring but sori'ow and shame 
on all connected with me; I have sinned heavily against 
those I most revere ; their pardon I may never hope to 
attain. I am an outcast from society, and have been 
rendered all this by one whom I called friend.''^ 

Allan, for it was he who had been thus mercifully in- 
terrupted in his intended crime, continued to pour into 
Horace's ear the relation of his life ; but as its incidents 
have been already related, up to the period of his father's 
leaving London, we shall proceed at once to that portion 
of it which immediately followed on his observing the 
minstrel standing opposite Sir Norman's lodging. 

It has been said, that he rushed from the house on that 
occasion, regardless of his sister's voice; his object was to 
seek and again secure the minstrel : " But vain," said 
Allan, " was all search : the greater part of that '^ay, and 
the whole of the following night, did I go from place to 
place, endeavouring to discover where he was concealed ; 
and in despair I left London, hoping that he might not 
have been aware of my vicinity to him. The same round 
of dissipation and extravagance stained the following two 
years of my life, during which Jarvis appeared to be my 



140 EVENINGS AT UADLON IIAI.L. 

friend. I was over head and cars in debt, and when the 
period approached for the payment of old Isaacs, the sale 
of my commission was my only resource ; it was sacrificed, 
and I found myself still heavily in debt, and without one 
shilling to discharge it, or provide for myself. About this 
time a distant relation of Jarvis's died, which event put 
him into possession of a good fortune and a baronetcy, 
and I was weak enough to imagine that the man whom I 
bad called friend, and to whom my purse had been ever 
open, and at whose instigation I had resorted to measures 
at which my soul shuddered, to procure large sums of 
money which he fully shared with me, — I say I was weak 
enough not to imagine that this man would choose such a 
moment to desert and revile me. Kut so it was ; and with- 
out money or friends, 1 quitted England, where nothing 
short of a gaol awaited me, to seek employment in some 
other land. Sickness overtook me. I have been at death's 
door, with nought but guilt and dishonour before my eyes. 
I have loathed myself and all mankind, till it seemed my 
curse that I did not die. In my lonely wanderings, in my 
fevered dreams, I have l)cheld the minstrel's form ; I have 
heard his voice proclaiming mc accursed, till my brain be- 
came diseased, and my only object self-destruction." 

Horace, it will be remembered, had been made ac- 
quainted, by his father, with the relief he had afforded 
Marian, and the circumstances of the Glengarys; and it 
seemed something like the hand of Providence which had 
led him to rescue from crime the son of that house. 

As soon as Allan could travel with safety, Horace 
insisted on his accompanying him to Constantinople. At 
this earlier period, the Danube, which now bears on its 
vast surface steamers and other vessels laden with the 
productions of every province in Hungary, was merely 



THE FORTUNES OF THE GLENGARY. ] 4] 

traversed by the rude, half-finished rafts, navigated by the 
inhabitants of the district through which the rivei finds 
its way. These vessels, composed merely of huge beams 
of wood, firmly linked together by iron stanchions, never 
re-ascended the river, being broken up for fire-wood at the 
place where they discharged their cargo. 

In one of these rude craft, protected from the weather 
merely by a small cabin raised a little above the after part 
of the deck, our travellers were glad to engage a passage, 
Allan's weakness rendering a land journey impracticable. 
The only sign of human habitation was the occasional mud 
hut of the Wallachian shepherd, built on the low marshy 
bank of the river. In one of these they were oftentimes 
glad to find protection and shelter, and to halt a day or 
two for Allan to recruit his strength. 

Horace saw plainly that life was not long to be Allan's 
portion on earth ; clearly he perceived that the awful fiat 
had gone forth, and that ere many weeks had sped, al. 
that remained of Allan of Glengary would be, the remem- 
brance of his follies, his crimes, and his repentance ; and 
most earnestly did he seek, by every argument and en- 
treatj'', to render this repentance sincere and availing. 
He would speak to him gently of his past ways, and 
when Allan would shrink aghast from their contempla- 
tion, he would point out to him that He who came to 
save sinners exacted no other tribute from the sinner than 
firm faith and true repentance. 

Allan often expressed a desire that his father should 
know the fearful act he had been guilty of, and which led 
to such fatal consequences. " Could I but obtain his for- 
giveness," he would say, " I could better hope for mercy 
from above. ' 

As his bodily strengtn diminished, his senses became 



142 EVENINGS AT HADDON HALL. 

more acute ; and tlie rcmor'^c he expressed at having 
subjected poor old Angus's memory to disgrace, was bitter 
indeed. 

They were one evening in one of these huts, unable, 
from Allan's weakness, to proceed. A thin partition di- 
vided their apartment from an adjoining one. Carried 
away by his feelings, Allan had spoken with some of his 
wonted impetuosity of language ; his voice had perhaps 
startled some one near them, who was willing to try if his 
might also be remembered ; a few chords were struck, and 
then a faint and feeble tone was heard uttering some 
words in the Gaelic tongue. Allan started from his re- 
cumbent position : he grasped Horace's arm as he mur- 
mured, " Save me, save me — 'tis the minstrel \" 

" Be composed," returned Horace, " be patient, I 
entreat you, while I go to seek this man who has so 
startled you, and prove whether or not he be the person 
you imagine." 

" Oh, bring him not here to curse me ! " cried Allan, 
as he sank back exhausted. 

Horace gave him some drops of a cordial he always had 
at hand, and as soon as he could leave him, proceeded in 
search of the harper. On perceiving a man leaning against 
the partition which separated the apartment, he went up 
to him, and whispered, " Know you aught of Fergus the 
minstrel?" 

The start, the agitation, and bewildered look, which 
met his glance, left no doubt that Allan's recollection was 
correct. 

'^ Seek you Allan of Glengary ?" he continued; "if so, 
your errand is finished ; I can lead you to him ; not," he 
continued, "to the proud and impetuous youth you re- 
member by that name, but to one well-nigh worn out by 



THE FORTUNES OF THE GLENGARY. 143 

suffering and remorse. Have you no peace to speak to 
such an one?'^ 

" Peace ! " exclaimed the minstrel ; " peace to him who 
destroyed my only friend, and gave his memory to shame 
and obloquy ! peace to the destroyer of his house ! peace 
to him who " 

A heavy noise, as of some one falling, ai-rested the old 
man, while Horace exclaimed, " He has heard all — you 
have killed him \" 

Horace returned to the room he had quitted, to rais-e and 
restore Allan to life, who had, as he conjectured, heard all, 
and fallen senseless under the torture of the minstrel's 
words. 

It was impossible for Horace to quit the unhappy suf- 
ferer that night, during which he was a prey to delirium ; 
and when, in the morning, he fell into an uneasy doze, no 
one knew anything of the minstrel. He had come and he 
had gone, without exciting attention. 

Every day that Horace watched by his friend, he be- 
came more convinced that his life was waning fast ; but, 
at the same time, he felt assured that nothing could render 
calm the last moments of that erring and unhappy man, 
or inspire him with a Christian's hope, but the confession 
of his crimes, and the forgiveness of his earthly parent. 
Under this persuasion, he besought Allan to embark with 
him for Lisbon, where, thi'ough Marian's correspondence 
with his father, Horace knew that Sir Norman and his 
daughter were resident ; and, at length, on condition that 
his arrival should not be mentioned till his father's feel- 
ings were made known to Horace, who took the whole 
mediation on himself, Allan suffered himself to be placed 
on board the vessel, the destruction of which Marian had 



144 EVEMXGS AT HAPnON ITALL. 

seen reflected ou the sky with feelings of such awe and 
euch harrowing forebodings. 

It was Horace who bore AHan in his arms to the raft, 
but who had not strength to retain him in safety there. 
An unfortunate movement made by the struggling crowd, 
anxious to save themselves, precipitated them both into 
the ocean, and when Horace rose to the surface, his friend 
was no longer in his grasp ; neither could he regain the 
raft, but owed his safety to a floating mass which had been 
detached from the wreck. 

It was judged better, both by Horace and by IMarian, 
that Sir Norman should not be apprised of any part of 
Allan's unhappy life and degenerate conduct. He was 
now beyond the reach of pardon from his earthly parent, 
and why disturb that ])arcnt's last years by a knowledge 
of what could not but render those few years miserable? 
It had been the will of Heaven that earthly forgiveness 
should not be awarded to the sinner ; but Horace, who 
spoke of his repentance, and Marian, who listened with 
deep interest to each proof of its fervour, could but pray 
that a more enduring mercy was secured to the penitent, 
by the one great sacrifice of Him whose death was the 
sinner's ransom. 

Sir Norman bore the intelligence of his son's death 
with more fortitude than his daughter had anticipated; 
for the sad reverses of his own fate had subdued his feel- 
ings into a sort of drowsy passivencss, 

Horace Needham had become domesticated at Cintra ; 
his whole world seemed centred in that little spot. He 
had made himself so necessary to Sir Norman, that the 
old chieftain forgot, in his presence, that he had no son ; 
indeed, never had he experienced from his own son the 



THE FORTUNES OF THE GLENGARY. 145 

sweet and gentle offices of affection bestowed on him by 
Horace. There was another individual to whom his society 
was not less precious ; but it was not till a letter was re- 
ceivedrfrom Mr. Needham, requesting Horace^s immediate 
return to England, that any of them were quite sure of all 
they were to each other. 

" Marian, my beloved, my peerless Marian, how can I 
leave thee ?^^ murmured Horace, as they stood watching 
the starry firmament, on the morning before the vessel, in 
which he had taken his passage, was to sail for Falmouth ; 
and Marianas fast-falling tears evinced that to her the 
separation was not less painful. " Oh, let me not depart," 
he continued, " without the assurance of thy love ! Let us 
here, in the sight of Heaven, plight our troth ! I cannot 
leave thee but as my affianced bride ! " 

" Think, Horace," repHed Marian, " of all your father's 
noble conduct to me and mine. But for his beneficence, 
we were little removed from paupers ; and is it for the 
creature of his bounty to aspire to his son's hand?" 

" Talk not of aspiring, thou peerless one ! Say, rather, 
shall a proud and time-honoured chieftain's daughter think 
a merchant's son her equal ? Ah, Marian, if thou didst 
but love as I do, thou wouldst know that in the bi'iglit 
and glorious light of that feeling, neither rank nor wealth 
are discernible ! Love is omnipotent, or it is but a mockery 
of the word." 

" Horace," replied Marian, " the secret of my love is 
no longer mine own ; it stole so softly into my heart, that 
there was no time to be wary; and, almost before I knew 
it myself, its existence was known to you. In your 
father's hands rests its termination ; whether I am to be 
a blessed and happy wife, or my love is to remain hid in 
the deepest recesses of my heart, his word can alone decide 



116 EVENINGS AT II.vnnON HALL. 

Nay, look not displeased, Horace. Ask your own noble 
heart, if mine would be worthy to be allied with it, if that 
alliance were to be based on ingratitude." 

" Ever right and ever perfect art thou, Marian ; and in 
listening to these truths I feel that they but make thee 
more dear to me ! But, dearest, why doubt my father's 
willingness to secure my happiness ?" 

" I do not doubt it, Horace. I dare not think I ought 
to doubt it, — for then, indeed, I should be wretched." 

Horace caught the speaker to his heart, and though no 
jjlighted vows were spoken, both felt that henceforth they 
lived but for each other. 

Little more remains to be told. The chieftain of Glen- 
gary has paid the debt of nature, but not before the stigma 
on his father's name had been effaced by the indefatigable 
and untiring exertions of our old friend Mr. Ncedham, the 
noble-minded merchant, who, from the first, suspecting 
treachei'y on the part of Mr. Muir, had persevered in his 
inquiries, despatching the minstrel on one expedition after 
another to the East, where the late Mr. Muir had died ; 
till, at length, a deed was discovered which gave ample 
])roof of the late chieftain's having redeemed his estate ere 
he executed his will. This news was brought to Cintra by 
Horace, who came, by his father's desire, to conduct his 
beloved ^larian and the Glengary to their ancient home ; 
but another revulsion of fate had been too much for the 
honoured chieftain. He was one among the many who 
find it more difficult to support the extreme of joy than to 
endure the bitterness of sorrow. His spirit was broken, 
and he calmly sank to his long rest, supported and cheered 
to the last by the presence and filial affection of his exem- 
plary daughter. 



THE FORTUNES OF THE GLENGARY. 147 
* Hs * ^ =i= 

JfC ^ SjC 'I^ 5fC 

Eigliteen montlis have elapsed since his death. The 
minsrtrel has again returned to the castle. Marian's first 
interview with this old and faithful servant presented a 
touching scene ; but when first summoned to the presence 
of the Glengary — for Horace had, on his marriage with 
its heiress, assumed that distinction — how great was the 
minstrel's sm'prise to behold and recognise the traveller 
who had spoken with him in the lone hut on the Danube ; 
for, wishing to assist the old man's memory, Horace had 
arrayed himself in the Eastern costume which he had then 
worn. 

Once more the minstrel's harp was strung, and again 
the name of Glengary resounded through the castle walls. 

The more happily and entirely the project of the fair 
Eva seemed to succeed in eliciting pen-and-ink pictures 
out of painted ones, the more eager did she grow that the 
progress of it should not flag. The second evening had 
already reached the accustomed hour of retirement at the 
moment when the last stoiy reached its close ; but, on see- 
ing one or two of the guests show signs of departure, she 
seized on a beautiful design which lay immediately before 
her, and, as if a new thought had come to her, she ex- 
claimed, " A Poem ! we have had no poetry yet ; and I 
have heard that Painting and Poetry are sisters, and always 
go together. Look ! this moonlight view is poetry itself. 
Who will ' marry it to immortal verse ?' as I have heard 
some poet say or sing, on a similar occasion. Oh, I 
know !" she continued, after a momentary pause, during 
which no one answered to her appeal — "I know!" and 
she turned to a young lady, who had just returned from 



l48 EVENINGS AT HADDON HALL. 

Italy, aud who had latiiy told her many legends that she 
nad gathered in that " sunny land." " Here/' she ex- 
claimed, "is one of those gondolas you have so often 
■ Icscribed to me — aud a lover, I think, by his earnest 
look — and a beautiful lady up above. ^Vhy, this alone 
is a story, if you would but make it into rhyme. Do 
try!" 

" I cannot invent stories, my dear Eva, as your other 
friends do," was the reply; "but I will repeat to you a 
legend I heard m one of those very gondolas, and you 
may fit it to your picture if you can, though it will, I 
;mi afraid, impart infinitely less illustration than it will 
leceive." 

The lady then related 

LOVE'S LAST TRYST. 

A ROMANCE OF VENICE. 

"Tis night, and such a night as smiles. 
In beauty 'neath a southern sky ; 
The silvery waves are hushed to rest, 
And in the moonbeams slumbering lie 
No cloud to dim the stainless blue, 
Upon the crystal deep is thrown, 
Where Venice stands in regal state, 
Encircled by her glittering zone. 
Amid the fairest spots of Earth, 
Ye tranquil stars watch o'er below ; 
Never can one more lovely be 
Than this ye sweetly shine on now. 
Still is each sound of Life ; awhile^ 
Reposes Pleasure's wearied train. 
And brooding o'er with dove-like wings, 
Day -banished Silence breathes again. 

Not long it reigns — the stroke is heard 
Of oars, whose bright phosphoric ray 



I 



LOVERS LAST TRYST. 149 

Gleams in the distance, and a bark 
O'er the blue water makes its way, 
Yet stealthily, as if it sought 
But wakeful ears to list the song 
That o'er the calm, unruffled wave, 
The night-breeze gently bears along. 

** 'Tis midnight's charmed hour, 

And every folded flower 
Weepeth in sorrow that sweet Day hath flown. 

Softly she sunk to rest, 

Lulled on Night's quiet breast, 
And o'er her smiles her ebon hair is throwiu 

The Hours pass slowly by, 

With pinions noiselessly. 
On to the curtained East they sadly move, 

As if they feared to break 

Her slumber, or awake 
The listening Echo of my whispered love. 

They wait for thee, sweet one. 

For thy dear smile alone 
Illumes my dreary path o'er Life's dark sea j 

Rise in thy beauty, rise, 

Star of these southern skies, 
For weary is my way, love, without thee." 

The song is o'er, and he who sang 
Still lingers at the vessel's prow ; 
Lofty his port, but southern suns 
Have left no trace on cheek or brow 
To mark him of Italia's clime ; 
But through the gondolier's disguise 
The Austrian Ulric stands reveal'd. 
No mask but Love's keen glance defies. 
Why comes he here, alone, unarm'd, 
'Mid hearts that seek to work his woe ? 
How will his single footstep gain 
The dwelling of his direst foe ? 
And yet he comes ! — as seamen sconi 
The dangers of the storm, and keep 
Watch o'er the one bright guiding star. 
That lights their pathway o'er the deep. 



150 EVENINGS AT II.VDDO.V HALL. 

And who, Bianca, loving thee, 

But would have risked a life's poor stasa. 

And felt e'en blessed were the boon 

To lose it — if for thy sweet sake ? 

Oft hath he stemmed the Adrian wave 

To gaze upon those deep-fringed eyes, 

Dark as the veil that shades their light. 

And radiant as their own fair skies. 

Now from Lioni's silent tower 

A fairy hand puts lightly by 

The lattice ; on the peaceful scene 

A fond glance wanders wistfully. 

'Tis she — Bianca! — she who loves 

This foe to Venice and her race, 

To-morrow's dawn that gilds these tower*. 

Will shine upon her vacant place. 

A distant clime, and other tongues 

Will hail her by a holier name, 

And one fond glance her home shall make^ 

To love all climates are the same. 

In very weariness or scorn, 

She flings aside the gems that press 

Her throbbing brow, that little needs 

Their aid to make its loveliness. 

Ay, loose thy richly 'broidered vest, 

And throw thy mask of smiles aside, 

Thy prisoned heart beats free at length 

From chains the World hath forged for Priii ■. 

Well mayst thou curse the noble blood 

That flows to whelm all Life's sweet ties. 

For feuds of them who sleep in death. 

And one poor maid the sacrifice. 



A cloud is on her brow to-night, 
A nameless fear that mocks control. 
Shadows the Future that had shed 
Its sunniest visions o'er her soul. 
Her pale, sweet face, yet paler seems. 
The pearls that braid her raven hair, 
Beneath the moonbeam's glittering light, 
Gleam in its darknesS far less faiir. 



love's last tryst. 151 

Moored nearer yet the palace walls, 

Once more awakes her lover's strain ; 

Secure, in past security, 

The signal song is heard again, 

Around her slight and trembling form 

She throws a mantle's sheltering fold. 

Her foot has reached the postern gate, 

So oft their trysting-place of old : 

She paused. Perchance the ties of home. 

Familiar voices, household words, 

Came thronging at this parting hour 

To touch the full heart's swelling chords. 

Slowly she moves ; a coward eye 

Hath tracked her footstep through the shade 

Of the deep arch ; one moment more, 

She falls beneath a ruffian's blade I 

Oh ! not for thee was aimed the blow 

That quenched thy young life's vital flame, 

'Twas for the Austrian's bosom dealt 

By him who owned a brother's name. 



By a lamp's uncertain lustre, in a dungeon's narrow cell. 
Where the gibes and frenzied laughter mark the spot where maniacs dweH 
Paces one whose tale of sorrow oft hath drawn the stranger's tears — 
'Tis an aged man ; each midnight, through a weary length of years. 
Steals he to the narrow casement — watching for his bride, they say, 
And he tells the maddening story as it were but yesterday. 

" Ere the vesper star had risen in the summer twihght sky, 
'Neath yon tower's friendly shadow, swept my lone bark silently. 
Then the cypress hushed its murmurs, and the waves their rippHng sound, 
'Twas to list her whispered welcome, that sweet Silence breathed around. 
There I lingered, till the midnight melted into silver mist. 
And the rosy hues of morning, beach and bower, and islet kiss'd. 
'Mid the azure waters, Venice, throned upon her hundred isles, 
Looked a bashful bride unveiling 'neath a lover's radiant smiles ; 
With a timid hand withdrawing from her shrouded face the screen 
That concealed her tearful beauty, thus uprose the ' Ocean Queen :' — 
Venice ! let the pangs I owe thee blight thee with the woe thou'st wrought, 
Let my wild curse cling about thee, that thy treachery hath bought 1 



1.j2 evenings at iiaddon hall. 

May a despot's foot oppress thee, branil tlice with each loathsome crime, 

Graven in the brazen annals of the blood-stained book of Time ! 

Cycles hence, the sighs of anguish, from thy murderous hand the source, 

Shall have strength to sap thy power with a stranger's withering curse ! 

May thy noblest blood betray thee ! Blood ? Upon my wildered brain 

Comes a dream of thee, Bianca, stealing o'er my soul again. 

See, the moon is bright above me ; she who lives among the stars, 

Comes in all her bridal beauty, smiling through my prison bars ! 

Lightly floats her dark hair round me ; — ay, she comes to set me free ! 

There is blood upon her bosom, and that blood was shed for me ! 

What ? they strike me when I clasp thee ! Fear not, love, I will no* 

chide ; 
Long I waited through the midnight, yet thou didst not seek my side ; 
Nor till Morning's dawn had opened was my cup of sorrow full ; 
NVhen iu Death's cold grasp I found thee — mine, my lost, my beautiful. 



EVENING THE THIRD. 



On the company re-assembling in the hbrary^ on the 
third evening devoted to the Haddon Hall Revels, the 
Lady Eva was, as usual, duly prepared with her pictorial 
treasures. Holding in her fair hand the design which she 
wished to be next illustrated, she glanced round the gay 
and intellectual circle, and her eye fixed on a gentleman of 
whose literary abilities she had heard much, but with 
whom she had too slight an acquaintance not to feel timid 
at profiering a request. With that ready and gentle cour- 
tesy which distinguishes some few above their fellows, the 
gentleman anticipated her wishes, and, going up to her, 
remarked that the drawing she held in her hand was a 
masterly delineation of a wild, bold, and chivalrous scene. 
" Does not the principal figure in the group remind you. 
Lady Eva," said he, " of the pictures we have seen of 
Hernando Cortes ?" 

" I had not remarked it," she replied; "but it would 
gratify me particularly to hear something of that extraor- 
dinary conqueror." 

The gentleman took the design from the Lady Eva^s 
hand, saying, " I will endeavour to recollect some passages 
in his life, and one in particular, which connects him in 
my mind with this drawing." 

Then, after a brief pause, he proceeded to relate — 



15 !• EVENINGS AT IIADDON HALL. 

SOME PASSAGES IN THE LIFE OF THE 
CONQUISTADOR-. 

"They tell me that I am good for nothing ; that I am 
a rank, profitless weed^ fit only for the burning. Sancta 
Maria ! how many brawling youths have lived to be great 
men, and to belie the prophecies of the grey-beards ;" and 
the s])eaker, with a toss of the head which set the feather 
" swaling in his bonnet," smote his thigh with the palm 
of his hand, and laughed the clear, sonorous laugh, which 
youth but rarely transmits to manhood. 

The laugh, sincere as it was, elicited no response from 
the companion of the thoughtless stripling — a pale, meek- 
eyed girl, who sat beside him, one small hand resting on 
his shoulder. It was evening — a summer evening — a 
summer evening in Spain. The setting sun had thrown 
into deepest shade the walls of old IMcdcllin. The place 
in which they sat was an ivy-grown ruin, in the corner of 
a high-walled garden. It might once have been a private 
chapel : it was now a summer-house. Into the arched 
window-holes peeped the tall, hcavy-lcaved shrubs, and the 
languid heads of many gorgeous flowers. The still air was 
laden with perfume. Sultry was the twilight hour. 

"Yes, they may prate,'' continued the youth, "and 
shake their heads, and look wisdom at me — a world of 
stem reproof in their cold, hard eyes. A fig for their 
prophecies ! They shall see me, some day — the prophets ! 
— if they only live long enough, a — what shall I say, 
sweet Marina? — a grave and venerable judge." 

The young maiden could not choose but smile, as she 
saw the look of mock solemnity with which her friend 
accompanied these words, but there was something of sad- 



THE CONQUISTADOR. 155 

ness in the tones of her sweet voice, as she said — " Will 
you never — never, be serious — not even for my sake, 
dear? — you, who have sworn to do such great things for 
me, to deny me, in practice, even this. A judge ! — Sala- 
manca will be proud indeed of the plant which she reared 
last year. Law ! — ■ you who are ever ready to break the 
law, — you to expound or administer it ! If Medellin ever 
glory in her son, little will be the share of honour dis- 
pensed to learned Salamanca. Our great man may be 
among the heroes — not among the sages of the world." 

"And is^t not better to be among the heroes?" asked 
the youth, in an eager, and a graver tone. "You shake 
your head, but your eyes let the secret out. Was there 
ever a woman yet, who loved not the arm that strikes, 
better than the tongue which argues — the mailed coat of 
the soldier, i*ather than the sombre gown of the clerk ?" 

"You WTong us," returned the maiden. "A true 
woman best loves that which most calls forth the dignity 
of man. And believe me, love, it is not as a scourge — as 
a fire-brand — that man exhibits the highest nobility of 
nature. If we are sometimes dazzled by brilliant acts, and 
clap our hands as the actors pass by, forgetful of all the 
sorrow — all the suffering — w^hich has smeared, as with 
blood and tears, the wheels of their chariots, it is only 
because the weakness of humanity clings to us evermore, 
and being weak, we, in our erring judgments " 

" Tut, tut ! " interrupted the youth ; " if it were pos- 
sible for sweet ladies of seventeen to prose with their rosy 
lips, I should be tempted to charge you with uttering the 
sagest commonplaces which have ever grated upon these 
ears since I did penance in the lecture-room at Salamanca. 
By the Virgin, such lips were never meant to preach solem- 
nity withal ! The language of love, not of counsel, befits tb at 



15C EVEXIXGS AT II ADDON HALL. 

delicious mouth; and love's language, you know, sweetest, 
is not always made up of words/' It might have been 
that there was some obscurity in this last sentence, or the 
youth feared that there might be, fcir he attempted an 
explanation ; and it was a practical one. 

There was a pause — there often is, after such explana- 
tions — which the girl was the first to break. "I do not 
seek," she said, " to chain you down to the hall or the 
cloister; but something I would do to curb your errant 
propensities — to direct your aims, which are often noble, 
your efforts, which are always strenuous — into one on- 
ward course, that so, steadily pursuing the path of duty, 
you may in the end accomplish great things." 

"Great things! — accomplish great things! I was 
born to accomplish great things." lie laughed, but there 
was this time little sincerity in his laughter. " Yes, I 
shall be very great some day ; and you shall be very proud. 
And little Gonzalo, too, who comes, if I mistake not, this 
way — else what is the tiny figure I see through the tall 
shrubs, which have now shut him quite out from us ? Ah 
— the fine little fellow ! A brother worthy of such a sis- 
ter ; and he, too, shall be very proud. Yes, my boy, when 
I am a great leader, you shall be one of my captains. I 
will not employ you then so unworthily as now : you shall 
not be a spy, but a cavalier. And what tidings have you 
brought ?" 

The child, a fine little boy of some six years, had by 
this time entered the summer-house. Running up to his 
sister, he said something, but what, it was hard to divine ; 
partly because he was scant of breath, and partly because 
his utterance was marred by a strong natural lisp. But of 
the nature of the child's story there was no doubt. It had 
ceased to be safe for the youth to remain longer in thai 



THE CONQUISTADOR. 157 

garden. The father of his beloved had returned from his 
accustomed afternoon ramble. It was time for the lovers 
to part. 

"Thanks, my brave little fellow; I shall repay you 
some day!" and, taking the child into his arms, Her- 
nando CoRTKs kissed the cheek of Gonzalo de San- 
doval. Another minute, and Hernando was on the 
garden wall. There was not in ail Medellin one moi-e 
active than he ; but ancient masonry will sometimes play 
scurvy tricks even to nimble youths, and the garden walls 
of Don Sandoval were well-nigh as old as his lineage. 
Alas, for the young lovers ! Hernando had scarcely 
reached the summit, ere the crumbling masonry gave way 
beneath his weight, and the youth fell heavily, with a 
mass of rubbish, on the other side. Then for awhile all 
was utter darkness. When the light dawned again upon 
him, he was lying in his father's house. 

* * * Gloomy was all around : the massive stone pil- 
lars of that inornate church, the lofty arched roof, with its 
rudely-sculptured cornices, the large heavy-moulded win- 
dows, the simple altars, bedecked with little of the wonted 
finery of the faith, the dark ungainly pulpit, the long 
aisles, dreary at noon-tide, in the full glare of the meri- 
dian sun, and how dreary now that the few tapers, which 
stood upon the altars erected to the Christian's God in 
the new colony of Fernandina,* shed all the little radiance 
v/hich struggled through the thick gloom of a starless 
midnight ! 

Gloomy was all around — more gloomy the thoughts 
of the lonely man, who now paced, with folded arms, those 
solemn aisles; now leaned, in deep meditation, against the 
* Cuba. 



158 EVENINGS AT HADDON HALL. 

rude altar-rails. That church was to him a sanctuaiy; 
but at such an hour, in such a place, what wonder that 
even his strong spirit should have bowed beneath the 
leaden weight of dcs])ondency which sat upon his heart ? 
— that even he sliould have obstinately questioned the 
value of safety, so highly priced ? 

He was a young man of goodly aspect, of fair propor- 
tions. Nature had been bountiful to him ; and he was 
now in that early summer of life, when her gifts are ever 
in best condition, fresh, but with something in them, too, 
of the vigour of lusty manhood. He had numbered some 
twenty-seven years ; and they had not been uneventful 
ones. Fortune had played him some sorry tricks, but 
they were mostly of his own invitation. No one, then, 
thought that Hernando Cortes was his own best friend. 

Another man would, in his present condition, have 
appeared in most woeful plight. His hair was disordered, 
his cheeks unshaven, his clothes, in many places, rent and 
soiled. There was blood upon his wrists and ankles, and 
he walked not without pain. But still the man who had 
now a second time broken the bonds of his persecutors, 
and sought refuge in that holy edifice, was of gallant 
bearing and goodly aspect. Nature had been too prodigal 
in her gifts for accident easily to mar and mutilate 

It w-as, indeed, an hour for profoundcst meditation ; 
and even he, the man of action, whose thoughts were ever 
in advance of time, whose nature it was ever to look for- 
ward, even he, in those gloomy aisles, was sunk in medi- 
tations, of which the past engrossed the greatest share. 
]Much pondered he upon his early years, his idle pranks at 
Salamanca, his wild adventures in his native town, his first 
love, his own ]\Iarina. There was sweetness there ; but 
not without a sting of remorse. He had been happy — so 



THE CONQUISTADOR. 159 

happy. Such happiness, in after life, is not to be renewed. 
But what had been the end of that long dream of bliss ? 
The old tale. And yet in heart he knew himself to be 
still true. Many acts of licentiousness had stained the 
page of his manhood ; passions, strong and heady, had 
moved him to much wrong-doing; injuries to others, to 
the dignity of his ov.'n nature. The irresistible will, the 
fearless heart, the strenuous impulse, breaking down all 
barriers of right, all restraints of decency ; and yet, be- 
neath all this, there had been an under-current of purer 
feeling. Ever had he fondly loved the meek-eyed Marina 
and her lisping bi'other. Love ! What love ! To ruin, 
to blight, to fix a burning sorrow for ever in the heart of 
the loved one ! 

And then another image rose up before him ; another 
young and lovely girl. One whom, in his new island home, 
he had courted openly, in the sight of men ; one to whom 
he had plighted his troth ; and yet time had passed over 
the heads of the betrothed ones, and the compact was un- 
fulfilled. Here was another act of grievous wrong-doing. 
Catalina Xuarez, the much-doating, the beautiful, the true. 
In his prosperity he had slighted her, and now he knew 
the full worth of her woman's heart. A true woman — 
now that the toils of great peril were around him — now, 
she was to his aid — to rescue him ; and yet beautiful as 
she was in her fair face, and gentle nature, and heroic 
truthfulness, he had not a heart to give. But justice, ex- 
pediency; and then the grim face of his great enemy, 
Velasquez, rose up before him, and Cortes, with set teeth 
and clenched hands — hands still bleeding from the wounds 
he had received in his struggles with the cruel chains, 
which had fettered him on board the prison-ship — strode 
rapidly away from the altar. Velasquez, the Governor of 



IGO evi;.\ings at haddon hall. 

of Fcrnandina ! bow Cortes longed to meet him face to 
face, aud to close with him in one great struggle, neither 
ai-med with power beyond that which Nature gives to all 
her children — not as in unequal strife between governor 
and vassal, but on the fair open field of manhood. Had 
not Velasquez wronged, insulted him ? And what had he 
done, under such wrongs ? Nothing. He had but con- 
versed with others, who had their grievances to set forth ; 
and had pledged himself to proceed to Hispaniola and 
ajjpeal to higher authorities ; and Velasquez called this 
conspiracy — the name that coward selfishness ever gives 
to the efi'orts of injured men to obtain for themselves 
justice. He had been beaten down — worsted for a time ; 
but his hour would yet come. " Yes," he repeated, as the 
buoyancy of his nature reasserted itself, and the sunshine 
of his heart burst through the surrounding gloom — "yes, 
I am undermost now. I have trodden on slippery ground ; 
but courage, courage, Hernando Cortes, you have not 
fulfilled your destiny yet ! . . ." 

In such varied meditations as these, hour after hour 
passed away, till the grey dawn of morning had succeeded 
to the solemn blackness of night. Still Cortes paced the 
dreary aisle, until arrested by the sound of his own name 
uttered in a low sweet voice, whilst at the same moment 
he felt a light hand upon his shoulder. " Hernando V — 
he turned round and confronted a female figure, \\Tapped 
from head to foot in a large black mantle — " Cortes, I am 
here ! Catalina is at her post beside you. You are safe. 
Listen to me, and your trials are at an end. He knows all 
— the guard is now upon the hill — Velasquez is stirring, 
but he shall not harm you — Isabella, my sweet sister, is 
now at his side — she will accomplish much ; but you 
must act your part boldly." 



THE COXQUISTADOIv. 161 

" Did I ever lose anything yet for lack of boldness V 

"Never; but this, remember — Velasquez will be 
cheated, so that he seems not to be cheated. He will not 
remove the guard, but he will be contented if you elude it. 
Now take this woman^s mantle — I thank God that my 
stature is beyond that of common women. They saw me 
pass. They spoke to me. One man at least knew me ; 
he must have known that I was wending here to see you. 
If compelled to pass near them, with eyes on the ground 
and kerchief to your face, your silence will be interpreted 
as we would have it. Hie thee straight to Velazquez. 
He will not be wholly unprepared to see you. The rest I 
leave, Hernando, to your own strong soul.'' 

Disguised in the woman's mantle, Cortes was about to 
quit the sanctuary, when a sudden thought arrested his 
progress ; he turned round, took the hand of Catalina, and 
silently led her to the foot of the altar. Still holding her 
hand he knelt down, and in tones of the deepest solemnity 
exclaimed — " Holy Virgin, who now lookest down upon 
me and this maiden, linked hand in hand before thee, hear 
me, as now at the altar-foot I pledge myself never to 
desert her — hear me, as I solemnly vow, ere another moon 
has waned, to make her my wedded wife ; and may God 
smite me with all human afflictions if the vow be not ful- 
filled !" He rose, and turning towards Catalina, said, 
" Such as I am, sweet one, I am yours. If you can value 
a heart like mine, whose freshness is lost for ever, take it. 
I have hesitated, for sorry is the return you must take for 
the gift of your virgin affections; but it is far better, 
Catalina, that there should be no deceit ; that were a sorry 
stock indeed to begin house-keeping upon." 

The vow was kept. Within the promised time Cata- 
lina Xuarez became the wife of Hernando Cortes ; and 

M 



'^- EVEMNGS AT II.VDDON HALL. 

Governor Velasquez honoured the bridal with his courtly 
presence. 

* * * The last rays of the setting sun streamed 
through the windows of that long arched chamber, and, 
for a little while, the massive shadows which had covered 
that stirring scene, were broken by broad patches of light, 
falling upon the stone floor, and the solid walls, and re- 
\caling more than one strange group of revellers, who, 
seated at rude oaken tables, were making the vaulted roof 
echo with their uproarious mirth. It was a scene not 
of easy interpretation. The roysterers were men of all 
ages ; judging by their (r»unteuances, of all characters ; 
by their attire, of all classes. Some seemed to be mariners ; 
others, the casque and the cuirass bespoke of the military 
profession. A few bore no exclusive stamp upon them, 
but in the faces of each, however varied, there was a look 
of eager determination, which seemed to denote a com- 
mon object, a common bond of unalterable purpose. 

At one end of the long vaulted galleiy there was a 
flight of steps, leading to a narrow entrance-door, and 
near to this, on a raised platform, beneath an arched win- 
dow, a party of men, chiefly of the military order, were 
gathered together, with pikes and spears in their hands, 
whilst a cavalier, standing upon one of the lower steps, 
was mustering them severally by name, and taking nott 
of their equipments. Nor were these the only occupants 
of the chamber. "With the rugged figures and stern 
features of these adventurers, were mingled the graceful 

forms and the sweet faces of women On a carpet of 

many colours, spread out on the cold floor, near an old 
cabinet of carved wood, which now seemed to be used as 
uu armoury, sat a comely dame, nursing a young infant. 



THE CONQUISTADOit. 165i 

and near her two ladies — tlie one sitting, the other stand- 
ing by a window — looked forth into the outer world, 
apparently intent upon some distant object. Not far from 
these, in deep shadow, stood a youth, who might have 
numbered some nineteen summers, of handsome counte- 
nance, and strong active figure, di-essed, though with some- 
thing less than the wonted ostentation, in a style becoming 
a cavalier of good descent, and beside him, in eager con- 
verse, was a lady, perhaps some ten years older, whose 
lineaments were like the youth's, as sister's to brother's, 
but whose meek eyes^ and pale sad face, told a tale of 
patient sorrow, crowned wdth calmest resignation. At 
some distance from these, near the head of a long table, 
stood another cavalier, the most remarkable figure in all 
the many groups, conversing with a lady of exceeding 
beauty, whose sweet eyes w'ere full of tears, whilst the 
revellers beside thera filled their glasses, shouted and filled 
again, in all the ecstasy of half-drunken merriment. From 
these turn we awhile towards the youth and his meek-eyed 
sister, who stood in the shadow of the wall. 

" Hear me, Gonzalo," said the latter; " and let my 
words be treasured up in thy heart. Never reproach him, 
my brother — never. / have not upbraided him ; neither 
then, nor since, nor uow\ I come not here to blame, but 
;o bless. He is your friend, brother, — he is mine." 

" Yours, IMarina ! he your friend ! Hernando Cortes 
your friend?" 

"^Yes; out of all my sufierings, the pitying Virgin, 
not unmindful of my tears, not regardless of my prayers, 
has helped me to derive peace undying. He is not in 
eflfect our best friend, my brother, who makes us most 
happy upon earth. I am contented ; be thou the sama 
Cortes is thy friend. He has promised to advance thee 



lot EVENINGS AT IIADDON IIAI.L. 

upon caitli. Be honourable, and he will honour thee. 
Thou wilt be great and glorious, for Hernando Cortes is 
thy friend." 

" He has promised !" returned the youth. " Alas ! 
Marina, what did he promise thee ?" 

" He was young then — rash, idle, impetuous, and 
sorely tempted. He is now a man, in the lusty summer 
of life, with great ends to acconiplish, with a great soul 
wherewith to accomplish them. What can he do without 
truth ? If not true to others, if not true to himself, what 
but failure can crown all his efforts ? Cortes is a great 
man. Confide in him, and you also will be great. Your 
eager longings will be satisfied, Gonzalo." 

" I fear, sweet sister, that the nobility of thy nature 
makes thee too hopeful of the truth and nobility of others. 
But I will believe him. Yes; I will believe him, though 
another now bows herself over the hand of her lord — that 
hand which should have been thine, ^larina." 

As he spoke, the figure of Hernando Cortes was ra- 
diant with the red sun-light, which fell upon his face, 
blazed upon his polished breastplate, and made a very 
"' flaming sword" of the bright blade, which, with point 
upon the ground, he held in his left hand, whilst the lovely 
woman — Catalina, his wife — bowed herself over his right, 
and pressed it fondly to her lips. The face of Cortes was 
that of a man who struggles against strong emotion. His 
heart was touched ; but he was a leader, in the presence of 

his followers, on the eve of a great enterprise 

Before them, compelled to dissemble, he retained an out- 
ward composure which had no counterpart within; and 
when the last farewell was uttered, the face of Cortes was 

rigid and pale as marble He saw her depart, through 

a door which opened into a small inner apartment, and as 



THE CONQUISTADOR. 165 

the noisy party at the drinking-table toasted the lady of 
their chiefs filled a beaker to the brim, and hastily 
swallowed its contents. 

The departure of Catalina was the signal for the de- 
parture of the other women— -the wives and sisters of 

some of the principal officers of the expedition 

As one after another departed, Cortes looked anxiously 
around, as though eager to find himself alone with his 
comrades. Soon it was even as he wished — nay, not 
wholly — there was one woman's dress, which, in a mass 
of shadow, for a little time escaped his observation. 
When he saw that one still loitered, he turned towards 
a soldier beside him, put a brief question, and received 
an answer. He then cried aloud, " Gonzalo de Sandoval !" 
The youth stepped forward and stood befoi-e Cortes. 
" Gonzalo," said the leadei-, in tones of the utmost suavity, 
"it grieves me to sever loving hearts, and, most of all, 
very young hearts; but the hour has come at which it 
behoves us all to think of sterner things, and I must bid 
you part from your beloved. Tell her that you will soon 
return, with hoards of gold and jewels from the New 
World, to claim her as your bride — bid her take one last 
look at the setting sun, and then, evening after evening, 
at this hour, to look towards the new home of her be- 
trothed " 

" General, she is my sister !" 
Cortes started ; " Your sister — Marina ?" 
" The same — she is here — she would speak with 
Hernando Cortes." 

'' Bid her come to me — nay, that were rude, indeed — 
I am playing the Governor somewhat early — lead me to 
her." The deep emotion of his heart betrayed itself 
beneath this assumed levity. 



166 EVENINGS AT HADDON HALL. 

They had not met for years, and now that once again 
they stood face to face, how changed they were ! It 
were hard to say which felt the most ; but over his feel- 
ings the strong man had less mastery than the gentle 
woman, and she was the first to speak out, in clear, un- 
faltering accents. There was something of solemnity in 
tlie tones of her voice, as she said — " Cortes, I have come 
hither not to speak of the past— the future lies before 
thee, a broad and shining tract, over which I would not 
cast a shadow. Upon this great adventure thou goest 
forth, with my blessing on thy head. It is of little worth, 
Hernando, but there may, in that far country, come an 
hour — haply long after the moss has grown over the cross 
which marks my grave — when it will be a solace to thee 
to know that I have blessed thee with my whole heart, 
and prayed the Virgin to smile upon thee ever. My 
brother goes with thee, Cortes— I ask thee not to befriend 
him, for thou hast already promised to be a father to the 
boy, and thou wilt find him worthy of thy tutelage; but 
if I might ask a boon of thee " 

" Ask something — anything," interrupted Cortes, his 
voice betraying deepest emotion — " the greater it be, the 
more ready I to grant it. Heaven knows I would do much 
for thee, ]\Iarina." 

" It is but a little thing," she said. "Among strange 
people — among men of diflferent colour and different faith 
— speaking another tongue, and bowing down to gods — 
oh ! hoxv different from ours — lies thy shining career. In 
our dealings with such men, it is too conunon to forget 
that they are fashioned of kindred clay— that they are 
men and our brethren still. I speak not, Cortes, of such 
natures as thine, but there are among the adventurers, 
who form thy little band of conquerors^ some rude and 



THE CONQUISTADOR. 167 

stormy spirits — slow to reflect^ quick to act — to whom 
cruelty is a pastime. Men return blow for blow — crueltjr 
will be juet with cruelty — but there ai-e those who cannot 
retaliate — the innocent and the helpless, who can only 
suffer — the women, Cortes, however little they resemble 
the daughters of Old Spain, remember that they are my 
sisters, the sisters of all the haj^py dames and merry 
maidens, who hear with pride, in thy native Medellin, of 
the exploits of her noblest son ; and when it is in thy 
power, Cortes, to stretch forth the sheltering arm, and to 
employ the healing hand, when suffering woman looks up 
for aid to the leader of the white man, as to a God, re- 
member then the last words of Marina de Sandoval, and 
know that she smiles upon thee, in the iiesh or in the 
spirit, and that the mild eyes of the benignant Virgin 
look down upon thee in sweetest approval. Wilt thou 
promise ?" 

" As I hope for mercy ! God smite me, if I fail V 

" Enough. And now God take thee, Cortes, into his 
safe keeping. Farewell ! Gonzalo, I am ready.^' 

" Yet, stay ; Marina, one word more. Have you quite 

forgiven " It was too late; she had di-awn her 

mantle around her, let down her long black veil, and, 
attended by her brother, passed down the gallery without 
once looking back. 

"Alone!" muttered Cortes; "quite — quite alone! 
Now, then, for graver matters. ^^ And Cortes stood 
among his men — once more the great leader, inspiring, 
animating all. The sun had set ; the revel was at an end. 
Even the most noisy of the roysterers now stood before 
their commander, cool and collected. The oath and the 
lest were silenced ; all i-emembered the great work that 



108 EVENINGS AT IIADDON HALL. 

they were about to do — all rcmenibcrecl that, ere to-nior* 
row's sun had risen, the little fleet, which might now be 
seen from the windows of that old edifice at anchor in the 
bay, would be steering, with its rich freight of gallant 
spirits, away from St. Jago, on its voyage to the New 
"World. And as Cortes now addressed his followers, now 
conversed with his officers, now consulted his charts, which 
had taken the place of the bowl and the flask on the old 
oaken tables, a smile of triumph lit up his face ; and ever 
and anon he muttered, with compressed teeth, " Not this 
time under the heel of Velasquez — not this time in the 
dust." 

On a wretched pallet, in a small, comfortless apartment, 
wanting light, wanting cleanliness, wanting every cheerful 
accessory, a man lay dying, at an inn in the little sea-port 
town of Palos. The ravages of sickness had not paled 
his sun-burnt cheek, nor thinned his clustering chestnut 
hair; but death was written on his face most legibly — 
the face of one in the full summer of life, smitten with 
hopeless disease — struck down in the very flush of 
triumph, the joyous i)ride of a great object achieved, the 
heart-stirring anticipations of one who, after years of toil 
and much peril in a far-off" land, has returned, laden with 
honour and wealtli, to enjoy, in his old home, among his 
own people, the harvest he has reaped so painfully abroad. 
Alas ! and is this the end of Gonzalo de Sandoval ? 

To die thus; and yet not ignobly, not alone — nor 
unwept, nor unhonoured. Many a group of brave soldiers, 
^•lustered around the door-way of that little inn, or sat 
in the common drinking-room, with blank faces, uttering 
but few words, and those in lowest whispers ; or, haply, 



THE CONQUISTADOR. 169 

after awhile, moving from their places with silent tiptoe 
tread, and ever checking, with raised hand and expressive 
face, the song or the shout of the careless stranger. 

But twofold the honour done to the death-bed of Gon- 
zalo de Sandoval. It is a great thing to be loved by one's 
followers. It is a great thing, too, to be loved by one^s 
leader. And thus was he doubly honoured ; for Hernando 
Cortes sat by his bed-side. 

From the convent of La Rabida, whither he had be- 
taken himself on touching once again the shores of the 
Old World, to rest his weary body and to refresh his over- 
tasked mind, roused by the sad tidings of the fate of his 
much-loved captain, Cortes had hurried to the inn at Palos ; 
and there, almost with a woman's tenderness, a woman's 
zeal, he had watched and served in that dreary chamber. 
... A great thing, indeed, to have one's pillow smoothed 
by such a man ; a great thing, indeed, to have the con- 
queror of a world acting the nurse by one's bed-side. 
Great the consolation ; but the slayer of thousands could 
not save one life. " Man sends forth the arrow of death : 
God alone can arrest its flight. How impotent we are V 
. . . And Cortes, beside the couch of his dying friend, 
bowed himself in deep humility of soul. . . . 

The sick man had slept, or it was like to sleeping, for 
his eyes were closed, and save ever and anon a slight move- 
ment of the one thin hand w^hich Cortes held gently in his 
own, and a sweet smile which played about his mouth, he 
lay there in marble repose. His dreams, his thoughts, if 
haply he were not sleeping, were very pleasant, very peace- 
ful. The wild war-cry rang not in the ears, a sea of blood 
swam not before the eyes, of the dying captain. All of 
this was passed over, and other scenes floated tranquilly 
before him. " Happy, happy," muttered Cortes ; " the 



170 EVENINGS AT IIAHDON Hai.1.. 

spirit of that sweet saint, his sister, is whispering glad 
tidings in his cars." 

It might have been so; but now the angel visitant was 
gone. Gonzalo opened his dim eyes, turned them upon 
his friend, and said, in accents low^ but very clear — 
" AVaking or sleeping, I have had sweet thoughts, blessed 
remembrances, my general. I have been again in that old 
chapel, again among the tall flowers, o'er-topping me, in 
my father's garden — The good old man! . . . And my 
best of mothers ! . . . ]My sweet sister. . . . All gone — 
all gone before ! . . . I have been once again among them. 
And you, too, I have seen — the old Hernando Cort«'?s, the 
gay youth, who climbed that tottering garden wall, and 
fell on the other side." . . . 

" Gonzalo ! that fall was the fall of Mexico. Then, on 
the sick bf'd, my mind shadowed forth the stirring scenes 
of my manhood. Then I conceived the great things 
which have brought me fame, wealth, everything but 
happiness.^' 

" You may be happy ; you must be happy ; at home 
again ; among your own people." . . . 

" Oh, Gonzalo, what is Spain to me ? iMarina among 
the angels, Catalina buried in the New World, and you, 
my friend, my faithful companion, my brave captain — you, 
thus; you thus, Gonzalo V 

" A mother lives to sit under the shadow of thy great 
tree of honour, Cortes. The Virgin has not suffered every 
well-spring to be dried up in the soil of home. Think, 
General, of the thousands who will go forth to meet you. 
. . Your old friends, your fellow-citizens. . . . How 
proud old ]Med(llin is, with her namesake in the New 
World. Our birth-place, Medellin our mother — Medellin, 
your child, Oortc> " 



THE CONQUISTADOR. I7l 

"Say ours — what would Hei'nando Cortes have been 
without Gonzalo de Sandoval ? My best of friends, bitter 
at such an hour is the thought that I have never done you 
full justice. . . . Hasty, impetuous, more ready to strike 
than to hear, I have wronged — once deeply wronged you. 
. . . Hast quite forgiven that hasty judgment ?" 

" General, for that I am more your debtor, than for all 
other bounties. Men err— the great and the small alike 
— and appearances were strong against me; but only the 
very great can confess an error to those who lie far below 
i;hem. How doubly glorious the broad sun-light, bursting 
from beneath the shadow of the cloud ! Never did I love 
Hernando Cortes, for never did I know him so well, as 
after that brief season of gloom, when I sat beneath the 
cloud of his displeasure. ... Oh ! if Marina had but 
lived to know how nobly you kept your promise . . . aid- 
ing, supporting me— making me all that I have been of 
great and prosperous, my friend.^^ 

"And that other promise. ... I did my best— God 
knows I did my best," repeated the Conqueror — "At Cho- 
lula, at Mexico, Heaven knows I did not forget my promise ! 
... I did not forget the sweet saint who implored me 
ever to be merciful to woman — that last night, how vividly 
even now the scene stands out before me ■'•' 

"And me — ah! yes . . . I well remember ; and how, 
as red morning dawned, the wondering people poured down 
to the quay, thinking it not less than a miracle that our 
little fleet was standing out to sea. And Velasquez ! —how 
I laughed to think how we had cozened him ! The churl ! 
— how blank he looked, as we communed with him from 
Dur little boat ! Ah, Cortes ! how the hand of God directs 
us ! What now would have been the aspect of the New 
World, if Velasquez had triumphed over you?" 



172 E^EKINGS AT IIADDOX llALL. 

"What, indeed! . . . Ikit it was not permitted to 
him. 1 had not fidlillcd my destiny then. . . . How 
vividly do I remember all — how deeply do I ever bear it 
stamped upon my heart, Gonzalo. In memory of that 
scene, of that ])romise, I named the first woman over whom 
I held the shield of my ])rotection — the first whom I 
saved from insult — after her, who appealed to me thus 
nobly in favour of her sex — a woman, too, not all un- 
worthy of the name she bore — one, who taught us all 
that the beauty and the truth of womanhood will flower 
ahnost as bounteously under the shadow of idols as in 
the sunlight of the eountenanee of the Christian's God. 
And Catalina, too, she was there. Poor Catalina ! . . . 
to think that the true and loving wife should have braved 
so much, only to find her own grave ; and that out of this 
hallowed grave should have sprung the blackest calumny 
which ever overshadowed my name ! Gonzalo, Gonzalo — 
when I think how much you did, at that sad time, to crush 
the slander under your indignant heel, I cannot thank you 
— I cannot love you too much.'' . . . 

"And yet I did not crush it — the rank weed does 
flourish still, in all its gross luxuriance. Curses on them 
. . . the curses of a dying man !" And clenching his fist, 
with all his remaining vigour, he threw out one of his 
emaciated arms and smote the air, as though he beheld 
before him one of the black-hearted slanderers of his chief. 
The effort was too much for him ; the strong feeling did 
violence to the weakness of physical nature ; and he sank 
back, utterly exhausted. His hour was very nigh, .... 
but not thus did he perish. Gonzalo de Sandoval died 
not with curses oh his lips 

Tranquilly his spirit departed — forgiving all men, 
blessing all men, he turned his face towards the wall 



THE SECRET OF THE FOUNTAIN. 173 

and died. His last words were words of peace ; and Her- 
nando Cortes closed the eyes of his beloved captain. . . . 
Honoured in life, in death was he honoured. . . . His 
own followers — the best and bravest — carried the bier to 
the grdve, and as the last rites were performed with all 
solemnity by the Friars of La Rabida, the eyes of the 
Conqueror were not the only ones which glistened with 
unwonted tears. 

On the conclusion of the foregoing tale, a young and 
enthusiastic poet, who had hitherto taken no part in the 
conversation, took up two drawings which lay before him, 
and which he seemed to have culled from all those which 
remained unillustrated, and holding them up to the Lady 
Eva, he said, " If you will let me have my choice of de- 
signs, I will, if this good company do not think me pre- 
sumptuous, volunteer a share in the Birthday Revels. 
These two subjects are at once so charming and yet so 
totally dissimilar — the one the ideal of Romance, the other 
the perfection of Reality — that their suggestive qualities 
will, I feel, make up for any deficiencies in the imagina- 
tion or fancy of the illustrator. But if I am permitted to 
undertake this pleasant office, you must allow me also, 
in virtue of the contrasting qualities of these two lovely 
designs, to unite both verse and prose in their illustration." 

The offer of the young poet was gladly accepted by all 
the company, and he proceeded to relate 

THE SECRET OF THE FOUNTAIN. 

Delmar Castle was the scene of unwonted festivities. 
Banquets, balls, concerts, fetes, of every kind, followed each 
other in uninterrupted succession. Every chamber in the 



171 EYEXIXGS AT HADDOX II ALL. 

Bpacious old mansion — once a stronghold of kniirlitly 
power, now a modernized commodious residence — had its 
occupant. Crowds of visitors from neighbouring seats, 
and even from the distant metropolis, came and went, 
flitted to and fro, remained or departed, according to their 
whims, their engagements, or the proximity of then* homes. 
The tenants on the estate and the dependants of the family 
were partakers, in their respective spheres, of the general 
joy. Happiness seemed for the time to reign absolute over 
this favoured spot of earth. To celebrate the completion 
of the eighteenth year of his only daughter, these rejoic- 
ings were given by Sir Michael Lindsay. 

Beatrice was in every sense worthy of the honours paid 
to her. Exquisitely fair, moulded with faultless symmetry, 
her features delicately chiselled, and marvellously express- 
ive of every emotion of the soul, her eyes pure and intel- 
lectual, her brow ample and serene, her movements full of 
dignity and grace — imagination could not conceive a love- 
lier being. But if nature had exhausted her art in per- 
fecting the outward form of this noble creature. Heaven 
had exceeded its limit in breathing into it a spirit of 
unusual fineness. Under a father's tender, judicious care, 
her intelligence had expauded, her mind had received the 
highest cultivation ; and every soft and womanly feeling 
had been preserved untouched by the least affectation, 
pedantry, or conceit. A son, twelve years of age, was the 
only other child left to Sir Michael by a wife whom he had 
adored. In the lively, playful boy were centred his proud 
hopes of transmitting the ancient baronetcy in a direct 
line to posterity; in his accomplished daughter reposed 
all the love that outlived in his breast his sainted lady, 
blended with affections of younger growth and of more 
flattering promise. 



THE SECRET OF THE rOUNTAI]V. 175 

More than one heart fluttered during the progress of 
these natal festivities, at the contemplation of the beauty 
and gracefulness of her who was at once the divinity to 
whom homage was offered, and the chief dispenser and 
promoter of the pleasurable rites. Many anxious mothers 
built lofty visionary castles of future greatness for their 
aspiring sous, upon the illimitable expectations of fortune 
assigned to the young lady by their fond fancies. Mean- 
while, she herself knew not of these amorous palpitations, 
thought not of these maternal aspirations ; innocent, art- 
'ess, happy, she presided over her father's hospitalities with 
infinite cheerfulness, smiling alike on all. Yet there was 
one man in that throng whose approach excited in her 
bosom strange, undefinable sensations, whose presence op- 
pressed her with mingled feelings of admiration, awe, and 
other less understood emotions. Beauchamp Marmion 
was one upon whom the fatal gift of genius had been 
bestowed, and with it all the warmth of temperament, the 
susceptibility, the fitfulness of exaltation and depression, 
which are its unfailing concomitants. Being distantly 
related to Sir ]Michacl, he had spent many joyous days of 
his boyhood at Delmar, and had conceived a precocious 
passion for the "rose-bud of beauty," as he then called 
Miss Lindsay, and had given expression to his admiration 
in many of those ardent effusions which are the safety- 
valves through which escape the intense throbbings of the 
poet's heart. Beatrice had accepted his strains as so many 
pretty compliments to herself, more fictitious than real, 
without comprehending the full meaning of the glowing 
thoughts, and without perceiving the germs of undying 
love that warmed themselves into life in these inspired 
lays. 

Four years had passed since they had rambled together 



176 EVENINGS AT IIADDON HALL. 

over garden and field, since he had addressed to hei hia 
last tuneful sonnet ; the sylph-like girl of fourteen had 
expanded into a blooming woman — the clever minstrel 
had become an illustrious poet. His name had come to 
her borne on the wings of fame ; she had read his pub- 
lished works, and thought she could discover in them the 
traces of his early feelings ; she cherished the memory of 
their former friendship ; she dreaded the renewal of their 
second intimacy. 

The meeting of Beauchamp ]\Iarniion and Beatrice pre- 
sented nothing to a casual observer to distinguish it from 
that of any two persons of different sexes, on a similar 
occasion, between whom friendship and relationship ex- 
ioted. But an eye practised in the study of female diag- 
nostics, might have discovered that the lady trembled 
almost imperceptibly, that she lost a shade of her habitual 
self-possession, that an air of colder courtesy chilled her 
salutation, and that she uttered a welcome of more formal 
construction than accorded with her usual free and unre- 
strained nature. A keen watcher might also have noticed 
tpat, as the greeting passed, a cloud stole over the gentle- 
man's clear brow, that his colour sunk to a paler tone, 
that his lip quivered, that his voice lost its manly firmness. 

" 'Tis as I feared — she loves me not!" he mentally 
exclaimed, when his reception was over — " she who has 
been my genius, my inspiration, my soul — she whose face 
and form wreathed themselves into every idea of beauty 
that I ever expressed — she whose mind has been the hea- 
ven whence I drew all that is immortal in my thoughts 
and works — she whom I dreamt of, lived for, worshipped 
— she loves me not ! The puling, sentimental, frantic 
rhymer is contemned, as he should be. One of a fated 
tribe, what else had I to expect, save misery ?" 



THE SECRET OF Tl]£; FC L'NTAIN. '. 77 

How strange, that that man who could, when calm 
and unmterested, sound the lowest depths of the human 
breast, unravel each intricate mystery therein concealed, 
and accurately translate every language of the eyes, voice, 
and countenance, should, when his own feelings and pas- 
sions were enlisted, be more than blind, be worse than 
dull, be ridiculously erroneous in all his conclusions ! 

" Ha ! ^tis clear as day ! Fool that I am not to have 
guessed it before: she loves another — Lord Brookland. 
A good match — an excellent match. Rich, unthinking, 
riotous, the beau ideal of a lady's wish. What care could 
she have for a grub, a book-worm, a sonnet-maker, such 
as I?" 

Thus, giving wild scope to an imagination fertile in 
creating unhappiness for its possessor, and, in a fit of 
complete despondency, delivering himself up to what he 
poetically called " his destiny," Beaucharap Marmion kept 
as much aloof as possible from the festivities, avoided 
encountering Beatrice, and held communion only with his 
melancholy, bitter thoughts. 

Meanwhile, Beatrice, unconscious of having given her 
former playmate the least cause of offence, and completely 
ignorant of the real nature of the admiration she felt for 
him and his writings, simply wondered at his conduct, 
secretly ascribed his abstracted mood and dejected man- 
ners to the influence of genius, and silently wished her 
birthday festivities at an end, that she might walk and 
talk with him, as of yore, and, peradventure, receive from 
him some new and graceful tribute to her charms. 

Amongst the visitors at De^;: ar Castle was Lord 
Brookland — a good-humoured, j./easant, fox-hunting, 
young country gentleman ; the owner of no great quan- 
tity of brains, though the inheritor of large neighbouring 

N 



178 EVEMNUS AT II.VUDON HALL. 

estates; a man who could boast of an excellent heart, 
though not of a tender one — of a generous mind, though 
not of a refined understanding. Ik'twcen Sir Michael 
Lindsay and the late lord a strong friendship had existed, 
and they had often indulged, over their claret, in can- 
vassing the probability of a future union between the heir- 
apparent of the one and the only daughter of the other. 
No pledge had ever been made on the subject, for both 
fathers were too wise to think of promoting a marriage 
that might be opposed to the wishes of the persons most 
concerned; but the advantage of such an alliance for 
Beatrice naturally recurred to Sir Michael's mind often 
since the death of his old friend. He was resolved never 
to constrain his daughter's afiections, but he nevertheless 
deemed the match, if it could be eflfected, one most de- 
sirable in many respects. Lord Brookland so far ac- 
quiesced in the desires of his deceased ])arcnt and in the 
wishes of Sir Michael, as to regard Miss Lindsay as the 
most beautiful of created beings, next after his favourite 
hunter. lie believed, that being doomed, like his fore- 
fathers, to the pains of matrimony, he would not easily 
find a wife who could sing a sweeter song, preside with 
more affability over his convivial feasts, or attract more 
admiration at a country ball, a meet, or a race-course. He 
had even gone farther, and had confessed his partiality for 
the young lady to Sir Michael, who referred him to her, 
declaring that he could not interfere, directly or indi- 
rectly, until Beatrice's inclinations were first frankly as- 
certained by him who aspired to her hand. 

The gaieties at Delmar Castle were drawing to a close : 
the ball wiiich was to terminate them was at its height; 
the spirits of the company were exuberant. One person 
only in that gay throng wore an abstracted brow, seemed 



THE SECRET OF THE FOUNTAIN. 179 

uninspired with the general mirth, glided from place to 
place without evincing any emotion of pleasure — scarcely 
of life. Like a mummy at an Egyptian feast, Beauchamp 
Marmion appeared, regarding the hilarious crowd with 
solemn gloom — among them, but not of them; dead to 
the present, brooding over the past — a mockery of human 
excitements. "V^Tierever Beatrice mingled in the mazy 
dance, or reclined for a moment after her fatigue, thither 
would his eyes mechanically turn ; but they, in truth, saw 
not the graceful object which they followed — they were 
engaged looking into his own breast, where everything 
was dark, despairing, and teeming with dismal shadows. 

The attentions paid by Lord Brookland to Beatrice 
throughout this evening were remarkable. He had en- 
gaged her for almost every dance, and displayed such pro- 
gress in the art of agreeable courtship as surprised all 
who were cognisant of his usually blunt, unceremonious 
manners. Indeed, he had convoked all his powers of 
pleasing for one grand occasion, on which he had made up 
his mind to settle his love affairs for life. 

At the conclusion of a mazourka. Lord Brookland led 
his partner to a retired seat. Having procured her some 
slight refreshment, and finding his courage elevated to the 
necessary pitch, he invited her to enter a convenient con- 
servatory, to hear something "very particular" which he 
had to communicate. Beatrice, wholly unsuspecting the 
motive of his request, and femininely disposed to listen to 
anything "very particular" from a friend, assented with- 
out an instant^s hesitation. They passed into the aro- 
matic retreat. 

" Miss Lindsay," began his lordship, as soon as the> 
vere seated—" I have your father's permission to pro- 
pose — that is, to offer, I mean — pshaw ! In one word, 



180 EVE.VIXGS AT II A DUOS lIAi.L. 

Miss Lindsay, I think you a beautiful girl — a good girl. 
I have a mind to take a wife — will you marry me ? There, 
now — I have said as niuch as if 1 had made a speech of 
an hour^s length." 

AVhilc he rapidly uttered these words, he seized the 
hand of the astonished Beatrice, and pressed it vehemently 
to his lips. 

At that moment the figure of Beauchamp Marmion 
darkened the entrance of the conservatory. His eyes fell 
upon the agitated girl, and lingered a few seconds, with 
an expression more of sorrow than of anger. A half- 
suppressed sigh escaped his lips : the figure then disap- 
peared, unnoticed by Lord Brookland or Beatrice. 

A ver)' short time sufficed Miss Lindsay to collect her 
alarmed thoughts. With dignified firmness, prompted by 
that modesty and nobility which in her were innate, she 
declined the honour proposed to her, and in such terms as 
set the question at rest for ever. Lord Brookland and she 
left the conservatory as good friends as before, though the 
pretensions of the gentleman to her hand were unequivo- 
cally withdrawn. 

Dclmar Castle had returned to its wonted peacefulncss ; 
the bustle attending the arriving and departing of visitors 
had subsided ; the commotion left by yesterday's past 
fete, or originating in to-day's coming festivities, was no 
longer discernible. Beauchamp Marmion and a young 
lady, a cousin to Beatrice, were the only guests who re- 
mained. IIow doubly delightful docs a country seat ap- 
pear after the departure of a motley crowd ! How 
enfranchised — how relieved from hostile invasion — how 
restored to natural repose ! The discordant hum of men 
is succeeded by the melodious song of birds ; the tramp- 
lin!r of feet in exchanged for the sweet murmuring of 



THE SECRET OF THE FOUNTAIN. 181 

trees ; the noise and rattle of society, with its conversa- 
tion, suggestive of no valuable thought, is replaced by 
charming solitude, which speaks wisdom and true philo- 
sophy incessantly to ear and heart ; the voices of passion, 
of envy, of malice, of paltry ambition, are hushed, and in 
their stead, love — fresh, genial, all-pervading love — 
breathes from field, and plant, and flower, and bird, and 
beast. 

Beauchamp Marmion had consented, after much per- 
suasion from Sir Michael, to prolong his stay for a little 
His pride and his reason counselled him to go, but his 
destiny and his heart urged him to remain. He con- 
temned himself for his weakness, in hovering around the light 
which had vitally seared him, yet he could not summon 
resolution enough to plunge from it into unfathomable 
darkness. Retracing those steps, which in happier days 
he had taken with her through dell and glade, he fed his 
melancholy to repletion ; and then, in the secrecy of his 
chamber, relieved his breast by venting his tribulations iu 
wild and agonised verses. 

Delmar Castle, like many old seats which have under- 
gone successive modernisations, presented, both in itself 
and the buildings attached to it, a medley of all the styles 
of architecture now extant. Egyptian, Greek, Hindoo, 
Italian, Gothic, Moorish — there were specimens of all — 
and some so mixed and confounded, that they literally 
can be described only as the composite. 

One of the curiosities of the castle was a reservoir of 
water, which went by the name of "The Magic Fountain." 
The copious stream of a rivulet had been conducted with 
much art and taste under a high and magnificent arch, 
and thence caused to form a beautiful cascade, by falling 



182 EVEMNfiS AT IIADDON IIALI.. 

mto a tank of large dimensions. The mysterious way iu 
which the architect had contrived to let the superfluous 
waters escape, so that the basin, though ever receiving, 
never overflowed, gave rise to its name. 

The Magic Fountain was a favourite retreat of Beatrice, 
as well for its cool shade and convenient bowers as for the 
ideas of romance which somehow were associated with its 
locality. Thither she and her cousin, Caroline, repaired 
to sing, and chat, and read away a lovely evening. Seat- 
ing themselves on a flight of marble steps that led from a 
terrace down to the aqueduct, they indulged for some 
time in sweet retrospects and bright anticipations becom- 
ing their youth, their beauty, and their innocence. Their 
confidences were exchanged, charily at first, and after- 
wards less reservedly. Yet still each had a little secret 
lurking in a corner not yet unfolded — a secret that she 
could not unbosom — a secret that perhaps should die 
with her unrevealcd. Fearful lest her tongue might utter 
that which should be left unsaid, Beatrice seized her man- 
doline, of which instrument she was a proficient, and ran 
her taper fingers along the chords. The strains extracted 
%rere for awhile fantastical, but soon they settled into a 
pretty simple melody, to which her voice kept concord. 
"With particular sweetness and expression she sang and 
played the following 

ScicnatJe. 

" Wake, maiden, wake ! Rise, beauty's sun. 

And at thy lattice high appear ! 
The sky a sable pall hath on, 

In mourning for thy absence here. 
Arise ; and with thy peerless sight, 
Dispel the gloom of sorrowing night ! 



THE SECRET OF THE FOUNTAIN. 183 

*• The winds that but a little past 

Breathed tones of love when thou didst hear, 
Now howl in grief — each deep-drawn blast 

Bewailing thy sad absence here. 
Up — up, then ! one kind look or tone 
' Will change to love their savage moan. 

" Appear — appear, blest sun ! and light 

All heaven and earth with joy again, 
Lest nature, grieved, should turn to blight, 

And chaos recommence again. 
Appear, my love — appear ! and till 
With bliss thine ardent minstrel still. 

" Arise ! and with thy peerless light 
Dispel the gloom of sorrowing night ! " 

Beatrice's cheeks were suflfused with blushes, her eyes 
sparkled with animation, her whole being glowed with en- 
thusiasm. Caroline, though no alchemist, could not avoid 
discovering that there was something in this song more 
than the words imported, something that touched the 
tenderest chords of her young cousin's heart. With femi- 
nine tact, she refrained from noticing Beatrice's emotion, 
and merely exclaimed, — 

" What a charming air ! I don't think I ever heard it 
before." 

" I should think not ; it is by an unknown composer," 
replied Beatrice, with a faint smile — "that is, the music, 
I mean," she added, correcting herself. 

"But the words — are they too, by the Unknown?" 
demanded Caroline, curiosity having urged her to put the 
question in a direct shape. 

"Unknown ! — no !" answered Miss Lindsay, kindling 
into emphasis. " But come, I have a book of beautiful 
poetry with me ; ht us sit by the fountain and read." 

As she spoke, she laid down her guitar, and leading 



184 EVENINGS AT II ADDON HALL. 

Caroline by tlie hand to tlic marble bench beside the 
fountain, the two cousins seated themselves, and began to 
peruse a dainty volume, which Beatrice took from her 
reticule. Page after page was recited, the last being ever 
pronounced yet more exquisite than its predecessors. The 
poems were short, and written at various times, under 
divers shades of feeling, and on many different topics. 
One deep vein, however, ran throughout them — the vein 
of early, pure, requited love. 

Beatrice was the reader. She had evidently learnt the 
pieces by heart ; and she threw so much natural eloquence 
and passion into them, that they came to the ear of Caro- 
line like strains of inspiration — like music really divine. 

" Ah ! you have not heard my favourite yet,^' broke in 
Beatrice, cxultingly, as she interrupted her cousin's ex- 
clamations of delight. " Listen to this \" she cried, spring- 
ing to her feet, and preparing to give the verse the benefit 
of her impassioned elocution. Then, standing before her 
entranced cousin, she read, or rather recited, 

Z\)t poet's ISriBc. 

" The Poet's Bride — oh, happy girl ! well mayest thou look so proad, 
And walk with such majestic step among the envying crowd ; 
The empress seated on her throne — the goddess in her shrine — 
Commands not half the worship and the glory that is thine. 

What kingly bridegroom ever clothed his regal one in rare 
And gorgeous robes of beauty, such as those which thou dost wear ? 
What amorous god did e'er bedeck his heavenly queen above 
With gems immortal such as those the Poet gives his love ? 

Oh , no ! the robes the Poet weaves are wrought of threads of light, 
Are dyed in fancy's rosiest shade of colour — soft and bright; 
The gems he gives are brilliant stars, whose lustre ne'er will dim- 
Alike beyond the hand of theft, or fashion's varying whim. 



THE SECRET OF THE FOUNTAIN. 185 

Ihe flowers he weaves around thy brow are of unfading bloom , 

From time they gain a lovelier blush, a costlier perfume. 

The golden braid and silk he gives, to mingle with thy hair, 

Are bright beams conquer'd from the sun, and chain'd for ever there. 

Froni heaven he wins its softest, purest, and brightest blue ; 
To give it to thy witching eyes, to tinge their modest hue ; 
The quickest lightnings are impress'd, in fiercest hour and •'vild, 
Are tamed, and gently taught to play among thy glances mild. 

At mom the virgin snow he takes from mounts of fearful height, 
To give unto thy neck and breast an all-surpassing white ; 
While sweet Aurora of her blush is half despoil 'd, thy brow 
And cheek of beauty to enrich with ever-chast'ning glow. 

The voice of rills, the bee's sweet hum, the music of the spheres, 
Are brought to murmur on thy tongue, which ravisheth all eai-s ; 
And gentlest zephyrs, as they play th' ^olian harp along, 
Are ta'en,and hush'd to slee^, to wake in thy harmonious song. 

Then walk in conscious dignity — oh happy, happy Bride ! 
Thou art the Poet's only love, his glory and his pride ! 
Nor empress on her purple throne, nor goddess in her shrine. 
Can boast one half the dazzling fame and glory that is thine." 

By the time Beatrice had concluded the poem^ she was 
nearly overcome by her emotions. Caroline likewise was 
much moved. The moment for entire and perfect con- 
fidence between the two girls had arrived. 

" Oh, Beatrice ! you love this poet V was the first 
startling question that rose to Caroline's lips. 

" I do," was the simple reply. 

" And he is " 

"Beauchamp Marmion." 

" He ? — and the writer of the Serenade V 

" The same. He wrote it for me, four years ago this 
very night. I have set it to a little tune of my own com- 
position." 

'' And you would be a poet's bride V 



J86 EVENINGS AT IIAUDO.V HALL. 

" Rather that than queen of the universe." 

A loud merry laugli i)ealed in the ears of the affrighted 
ladies, and brought tlic interesting conversation to an 
abrupt termination. Appalled, they turned, and pereeived 
the delighted face of the young heir of Delmar, who had 
approached them unnoticed, and who, from behind an 
adjacent tree, had distinctly heard the whole secret of his 
sister's heart. 

Ere they could devise any expedient to stop his tongue, 
the boy had scampered off, shouting and dancing at the 
trick he had played, and determined to let all the world 
know that Sister Beatrice was to be a poet's bi'ide. 

Marston Lindsay was an intelligent, high-spirited boy, 
a favourite with every one, somewhat of a pet, and exces- 
sively fond of " harmless mischief." He loved his sister 
better than all the world beside, and would have suffered 
martyrdom rather than seriously injure her by word or 
deed. But to banter her, or make her blush, was his 
greatest pleasure. Now, he believed himself richer than 
Croesus, for he was in possession of a treasure : how to 
get rid of it, was what puzzled him ; how to exchange it 
for the greatest quantity of fun, engrossed his imagina- 
tion. Poor child ! he little knew what it is to sport 
with a young maiden's first declaration of love ; he little 
understood the meaning of the confession he had over- 
heard ; his was the gamesomeness and innocence of twelve 
years. 

"With perversity of judgment, to which ardent, proud, 
over-susceptible minds arc unfoi'tunately prone on matters 
touching their own affections, Beauchamp Marmion had, 
during his visit to Delmar Castle, misconstrued every 
word, look, and tone of Beatrice. He had worked him- 
self into the conviction that sbe had forgotten their early 



THE SECRET OF THE FOUNTAIN. 187 

loves, and cared not for him beyond a mere acquaintance ; 
he believed that he had irrefragable proof of her engage- 
ment to another ; he regarded their eternal separation as 
sealed ; he vowed that, though his heart should break, he 
would never let her hear a sentence of reproach from his 
lips. But the torture of daily beholding the idol he wor- 
shipped, and yet of maintaining a rigid silence in his 
adoi'ation, was beyond his strength ; the task became in- 
supportable ; he resolved to leave Delmar without delay. 
Returning from a long sombre walk, and deep in medita- 
tion on his blighted hopes and miserable fate, he was sud- 
denly arrested by Marston, who, glowing with excitement, 
and almost out of breath with running, whispered joyously 
in his ear, — 

" Oh, I have such a secret to tell you about Beatrice ! 
We will have such quizzing of her \" 

Beauchamp trembled violently, and grew ghastly pale ; 
he attempted, but could not utter a syllable. The boy 
continued — 

" She's going to be a bride — a poet's bride — ha, ha, 
ha ! I heard her say it myself, just now, to Cousin Caro- 
line. Do come and let us tease her about it !" 

Beauchamp leant against a tree for support. He felt 
stupified, under the influence of a dream. He w'as recalled 
to his senses by the boy, who said — 

" Are you a poet ?" 

The question passed through every fibre of Beauchamp's 
frame like an electric shock. His suspicious and his 
despair yielded to the potency of that simple question. 

" Why do you ask, jMarston ?" he, after a pause, arti- 
culated. 

" Why, because, if you ai-e, and that you have written 
the book of poetry, you are the very person I heard her 



188 EVENINGS AT IIADDON HALL. 

say she loved. Now I think of it, your name was men- 
tioned. But, come — do let us go back to the Magic 
Fountain, and torment Beatrice ! She will blush so ! Wc 
will have rare sport V 

The boy rattled on. Beauchamp learnt what gratified 
his wildest wish, what almost surpassed his credence. 
Having enjoined the most inviolable secrecy to Marston, 
they returned towards the Castle. The dark cloud had 
entirely cleared away from the brow of the poet. That 
night the courteous moon and accommodating stars were 
witnesses to lengthy explanations, to repeated vows of 
mutual passion, to eloquent protestations of eternal love, 
and to the formal registration in Hymen's book of two 
beings who were resolved to be made one with the 
shortest possible delay consistent with duty and propriety. 

Beauchaiiij) Marmion ])rolonged his visit at Duliiiar for 
several weeks j the reserved misanthrope became the soul 
of domestic joyousness; the sarcastic railer at all woman- 
kind was changed into the devout believer in the perfecti- 
bility of one; the desponding lover was turned into a 
thrice happy betrothed. A poem which he had written 
under the paroxysms of his late insanity, and into which 
he had thrown the concentrated gall of his diseased mind 
— painting woman as a fiend, and representing himself as 
the lacerated victim of her black arts — caused him to 
laugh immoderately when he thought of it. The irony, 
the reproach, the invective, the denunciations, launched by 
him upon the whole sex, now appeared so exaggerated, so 
grossly unmeasured, that he resolved to commit the mad 
efi'usion to the flames. Before doing so, however, he be- 
thought him of showing the manuscript to Beatrice, to 
prove to her from what a state of frenzy she had rescued 
him. 



THE SECRET OF THE FOUNTAIN. 189 

Beatrice read the composition, shuddered, wept, thrilled 
with admiration — 

"Burn that!'' she exclaimed — "that ! Why it's a 
master-piece — there 's genius in every line — lightning in 
every thought ; there never was — there never will be — so 
intense, so magnificent a poem ! If you love me, you 
must publish it, without a word of alteration." 

With the unhesitating compliance of an affianced one, 
Beauchamp packed off the poem to his publisher. The 
critics ratified the opinion given by Beatrice : the author 
was pronounced to be the greatest of living geniuses, and 
the most injured of men ; and while the world was bewail- 
ing him as one reduced to a shattered wreck by a heartless 
female fiend, he was enjoying the best of good cheer, and 
anticipating the delights of paradise with her who was the 
faithful angel of his love and life. 

Twelve months rolled on from the day when Marston 
overheard the confession at the Magic Fountain. 

Within a tastefully appointed dressing-room a lady sat, 
motionless, entranced, rapt in beatific visions. She was ap- 
parelled in rich but simple robes, and her unadorned beauty 
shone resplendent in its own lustre. Her eyes were kindled 
with happiness, her cheek was glowing with content, her 
form was dilated with pride. 

Her tiny feet resting on an embroidered cushion, and 
her marvellously small hands reposing in her lap, she ap- 
peared an exquisite model for a sculptor. But on what 
were her eyes fixed ? where was her wandering mind ? 
They were gazing into the profundity of the futui-e. They 
were contemplating splendid triumphs, unheard-of glories, 
crowns of immoi-tal laurels, pageants, trophies, honours 
greater than ever before were dreamt of — brighter than 
ever could be realized. Let us not interrupt her delicious 



190 EVENINGS AT IIADDON HALL. 

trance — let us not break the spell of enchantment which 
envelopes her — let us not dissipate the illusion in which 
she revels : the realms of imagination arc her own, for she 
is young, lovely, enthusiastic ; she has reached the pinnacle 
of her ambition — she is the wife of Bcauchamp Marmion 
— she is the Poet's Bride I 

The best of all good things is a good example, for it is 
the maker and multiplier of good. That which was set by 
the volunteer relater of the foregoing tale was followed, on 
its conclusion, by a lady whose distinguished literary posi- 
tion, as the Royal Historian par excellence, might well 
have entitled her to set an example on the present occasion, 
rather than to follow one. " I am not an adept at impro- 
visation," said she, " but there is a subject, of which this 
beautiful drawing reminds nie, that might inspire the 
darkest imagination, and awaken the drowsiest fancy. 
But you must allow me to treat of it in ' numerous verse,' 
for plain prose cannot reach 'the height of my great 
argument.' " 

So saying, the accomplished Historian of the Queens 
of England proceeded to sing — 

QUEEN MARY'S WELCOME. 

O'er Leven's dark tow'r the young May moon has risen, 

And our Queen, our bright Maky, has 'scaped from her prison. 

Good speed to the shallop, that bears o'er the wave 

The fortunes of Scotland, the fair and the brave. 

She raises the signal — her gold-broider'd veil, 

With its border of crimson, it floats to the gale, 

And gleams in the moonbeam, all glorious to see 

Our Queen, our own Mary ! Once more she is free ! 

We see her, we know her ; and there, by her side. 

Stands the gallant young stripling, her champion and guide : 



QUEEN MARY S WELCOME. 191 

Oh! Willie the landless, the orphan,* shall wia 
Prouder name by this deed, than the lords of his kin. 

" Though traitors have broken their faith and her laws, 

Our Queen hath good friends still to fight in her cause ; 

Ay, men pure and stainless, who never have sold 

The honour of Scotland for England's base gold. 

Oh, many 's the vigil we've kept for her sake 

On this storm-beaten rock, that o'erlooks the broad lake. 

Till practised through darkness and mist to descry 

Every object, that varied its surface, flit by. 

Long months we have watched for this moment in vain, 

And each night found us still at our eyrie again. 

How our hearts throbbed aud fluttered with eager deligk-, 

WTien we first marked the shallop unmoored for her flight 

As it glided the castle's dark shadow beneath, 

Every pulse was suspended — we scarce drew a breath 

TUl we saw it, still trembling 'twixt hope, fear, and doubt, 

O'er the moonlighted waters shoot vent'rously out. 

But the peril is over ! she springs to the shore — 

She is Queen of the true men of Scotland once more!" 

They gather around her, that stout-hearted band. 
They kneel at her feet, and they kiss her fair hand ; 
But brief are their greetings ; 'tis death to delay ; 
The fleet steeds stand ready : the word is — " Away !" 

Queen Mary has mounted ; a blush on her face, 
As they murmur of " beauty and womanly grace;" 



* WilUe Douglas, commonly called WOlie the Orphan, or Little 
Douglas, was a young cadet of the noble house of Lochleven, brought 
up as a page in the castle. When his cousin, the gallant George 
Douglas, was banished from Lochleven by his mother, for contriving 
the former ineffectual escape of Queen Mary, with whom he was pas- 
sionately in love, Little Willie succeeded to his trust, and, although 
only sixteen, successfully completed the undertaking. Many interesting 
particulars of this brave boy are to be found throughout the Letters of 
Mary Queen of Scots. (See second edition, lately published by Colburn.) 
Queen Mary did not forget her obligations to Willie at the hour of her 
death ; his name )ccurs in the will she wrote on the night before bet 
execution. 



192 evi;nings at iiaduon hall. 

For soft as the moonliglit that kisses her brow, 

Or (he plume that waves o'er it, her bearing is now j 

Yet uo daring moss-trooper that scours Ettrick side, 

More firmly can sit, or more fearlessly ride. 

Like a bird just escaped from its cage, in her glee, 

She feels the bold sjiirit that gladdens the free ; 

One touch to her courser, and otf like the wind. 

She leaves mountains and woodlands and waters behind; 

And she proudly looks back to her friends with a smile, 

As she daihes the first through the rocky defile. 

" Nay, forward, dear Lady, the race is for life ; 

Push onward amain, through the fair plains of Fife ; 

We must pause not for breath, nor to tighten a girth. 

Till we've won the steep bank of the wide-rolling Firth. 

Then hey for the ferry — St. Margaret to speed ! 

May the boatmen be ready and true at our need." 

They have crossed the wild waters, and there, on the strand. 

Fair escort and tried, the brave Livingstones stand ; 

And the Hamiltons, foremost in courage and zeal, 

Pour down to the muster from bonny Kinneil. 

Already an army sweet Mary commands. 

Who'll avenge her, or die with the arms in their hands ; 

And brightly the Monarch has smiled through her tears, 

As she bows to her yeomen, and welcomes her peers, 

While they gaze on her beauty ; and vow " 'tis a cause 

To win cowards to fight for true glory's applause." 

Now, gallant Lord Seaton, lead on to the west, 

For the Queen comes to Niddry this day as thy guest ; 

Brief warning hast thou to prepare royal cheer. 

To shoot the wild moor-fowl, or slay the red deer; 

Yet fling wide thy portals, and blithe will she be, 

Though rude be the fare, to take breakfast with thee. 

Ah, grey roofless castle, how changed is the scene 

In thy desolate halls, and thy courts lone and green. 

Since thy lord knelt in homage to welcome his Queen, 

And they rang with the shouts of the loyal array 

\Mio feasted with Seaton and Mary that day, 

While gaily the strains of the minstrels arose — 

•' Hwe's a health to Queen Mary ! and death to her foes ?" 



^ 




fllE ABBEY IX RUINS. 193 

At the conclusion of the foregoing poem, a young writer, 
whose forte is the reflective and meditative rather than the 
stirring and imaginative, signified his wilUngness to con- 
tribute his share towards the Revels of the evening, pro- 
vided the company would accept, in place of an illustrative 
tale, the result of those reflections and associations which 
had been called forth in his mind and memory by the 
contemplation of a design, the profound repose of which 
seemed, he said, to put to flight all thought of movement 
and action, and leave no room for anything but the brood- 
ing image 

" Of those lone walls and solitary cells 

Where heavenly pensive Contemplation dwells, 
And ever-musing Melancholy reigns." 

The offer was gladly hailed by the Lady Eva, if only 
for the variety it would give to the proceedings of that 
evening, which it was determined should close with the 
following Reflections on 



THE ABBEY IN RUINS. 

" There is a temple in ruin stands, 
Fashioned by long-forgotten hands. 
****** 
****** 
Out upon time ! it will leave no more 
Of the things to come than the things before ! 
Out upon time ! who for ever will leave 
But enough of the past for the future to grieve 
O'er that which hath been, and o'er that which must be. 
Wliat we have seen, our sons shall see ; 
Remnants of things that have passed away. 
Fragments of btone rear'd by creatures of clay." 

Byron. 
O 



194 EVENINGS AT UADDON HALL. 

Poetry accommodates the shows of things to the desires 
ol the mind, and as these desires are infinitely various, so 
are the forms of beauty into which the genius of poetry 
moulds the thoughts of the heart. Where is the feeling 
heart of man or woman that will not, in certain moods, 
acknowledge the romantic, melancholy beauty of Byron's 
complaint of Time ? Who does not yearn over departed 
memories, when he looks upon a magnificent ruin, nor 
wish he could unlock the heart of its mystery, and live in 
the spirit of the time when as yet it was no ruin, but the 
scene of life and emotion — of battle — strife, perhaps, or 
of love's soft persuadings, or deepest policy, or high re- 
solves, or (highest, holiest of all !) of religious strivings — 
meek aspiration, lone endeavour, looking through the 
gloomy gates of death to the joys of heaven and the ever- 
lasting song of angels ? 

Yes, such are often the speculations of an ardent, con- 
templative curiosity, plunging into the far and shadowy 
depths of time, and reproaching the destroyer that he has 
left so little. 

But, again, the mind sets out upon a different flight ; 
and at first hovering o'er the crumbling remains of de- 
])aitcd strength and magnificence, subsides at length into 
calm and not unpleasing contemplation of the work which 
time has done, and gradually arrives at a kind of worshij) 
of the dim magnificence of ruin, acknowledging that there 
is a Providence even in decay; which, while it sweeps 
away much that is too hateful for prolonged existence, 
bequeaths to us bright dreams of the past, and makes 
room for the healthful exercise of head and hand in every 
successive generation of men. 

Hail ! thou superb relique of the middle ages — the abbey 
of the olden times, the castle and the church m one ; the 



THE ABBEY IN RUINS, 195 

abode of tlie learniug and policy of the period, and not un- 
freqnently of the stoutest hearts that rushed to battle as to 
a banquet — of the strongest hands that wielded the pon- 
derous lance as it were but a riding-wand, or the huge 
sword that cut through plate armour as if it were but a 
woollen doublet ! Hail, old abbey ! magnificent even now, 
in thy stern, stony grandeur, an image of enormous power ! 
Beautiful, too, in the graceful shafts and delicate tracery 
of the windows, presenting images of the elevation and 
piety which graced the barbarism of the time, and often 
checked the ruthless hand of the bold and cruel. See how 
the light streams thx'ough, like a gleam from heaven, upon 
the stern monument of human strength, and of the short- 
lived existence of it. 

" Fragments of stone rear'd by creatures of clay." 

Yes, " clay " — as to their mortal bodies, which have 
long ago crumbled into dust and ashes ! But the spirit 
which was in them, wherever be now its abode, or what- 
soever its mode of existence, did its work in its time, and 
has not perished ; but survives, not only in history and in 
tradition, but in its effects. We are inheritors, not only 
of the names and the possessions, but of the spirit of our 
fathers ; and though they have all undergone changes, yet 
survives it in pure prosaic matters of fact as much as the 
antique works of men's hands, and more than they. Time 
rolls his ceaseless course, and decay and reproduction pro- 
ceed in their everlasting round ; but as the leaves of this 
year are the nourishment of the trees of future years, 
which in their turn produce more leaves, so do the thoughts 
and deeds of men, which lie still perhaps for ages, yet serve 
their office as the matei'ial out of which future thoughts 
and deeds are matm-ed. 



196 EVtMNGS AT IIADDON HALL. 

" Time rolls his ceaseless course. The race of yore, 

Who danced our infancy upon their knee, 

And told our marvelling boyhood legends store, 

Of their strange ventures hapji'd by land or sea. 
How are they blotted from the things that be ! 
How few, all weak and withered, of their force, 

Wait on the verge of dark eternity ; 
Like stranded wrecks, the tide returning hoarse, 
To sweep them from our sight ! Time rolls his ceaseless course." 

But the legends do not altogether die, which have been 
poured into the ears of our marvelling boyhood. True, 
they do not survive, as in the mind of the wondrous Wizard 
of the North, who wrote those noble lines ; but in other 
forms they still live, and move, and have their being, and 
will some day leap up into obvious life, after the sordid 
bustle and mechanical clamour of this present time shall 
have passed away. 

The half-ecclesiastical, half-militai-y strongholds of the 
middle ages, were frequently built by the side of deep 
waters which laved their walls. Some say this was for the 
convenience of fish, which has been, time out of mind, a 
more religious kind of eating than flesh, and therefore a 
special convenience to monks. A\Tiether fish generally 
appeared upon the tables of lordly abbots for the special 
uses of fasting, must be left to the decision of antiquaries. 
Even tradition is prone to scandal, and therefore we must 
not too readily yield to irreverent suspicions, which are 
sometimes indulged in concerning the social habits of reli- 
gious orders in the olden time. Monks were fat in those 
days, and some of them were certainly the best judges then 
extant of a good dinner, and the way to cook it. But 
It is to be remembered, that a life of peace and content- 
ment, for which religious retirement is the best security, 
will cause the frame of a man to swell into obesity, inde- 



THE ABBEY IN RUINS, 197 

pendently of good living j and if the monks were the most 
learned men of their day in culinary science, the same 
thing was to be said in respect to all other branches of 
recondite knowledge. What would have become of the 
classics or the sciences, of Greek or of gastronomy, without 
the help of the monks, during the ages of feudalism and 
chivalry, it were hard to conjecture. If the spread of 
knowledge have overthrown the monasteries, it is but 
another instance to which we may applir the illustration of 
the bird that died by a shaft feathered from its own wing. 
Perhaps it may be contended, that in the case before us 
the owl should be taken for the illustration rather than 
the eagle. It may be so ; yet, with all their vices, it is 
true that the monasteries preserved and kept alive, after 
their own peculiar fashion, the learning and the arts, 
which otherwise (so far as appears on the face of human 
affairs) might have perished for ever. 

Howevei', there is but too much reason to believe, that 
not alone for the convenience of replenishing their larders 
with piscine food, were these edifices constructed by the 
margin of deep waters. The military advantage was mani- 
fest. It was almost a security from attack on tne sides of 
the building which could only be approached by boats, 
and was often a means of escape under cover of darkness, 
and with muflSed oars. No sentinel could challenge upon 
the watery path, and the opposite shore might be one of 
safety. Happy, however, it had been if this were all ; but, 
alas ! there were darker and more terrible uses of the con- 
tiguous lake, than those which belong to the exigencies of 
war and siege. The dark waters formed a capacious and 
an ever-ready grave, to which many a wretch was hurried, 
of whose departure to the shadowy shore of another world, 
the existing world, beyond the stern abbey walls, know 



198 EVEXING!!, AT II.VDDON HALL. 

nothing. The convent bell noted not their fate to the 
passing wind. The judicial sentence was passed in the 
secret council chamber, and then came the fatal oubliette, 
and the dark wave beneath closed u])on the victim for ever. 
Awful arc these dread reminiscences of the deep, dark 
dungeon, the secret way to the chamber of trial, so fre- 
quently, also, the chamber of torture ; and then the horrid 
death and unhallowed burial of the oubliette ! Thank 
Heaven ! such things arc now but memories. From that 
kind of cruelty and injustice the condition of civilized 
mankind is now free. 

The stern old walls of the abbey are slowly yielding to 
the decay of time, while moss and lichen cover the rude 
traces of ruin with their softness, and wild flowers wave, in 
short-lived beauty, in the crevices of the mouldering stone. 
But other traces of the past are there which appal the 
sight. The lake yields up its dead. The very waters 
change their place in the long round of revolving years, 
and the receding tide reveals the story of long- forgotten 
t)Tannies and murders. Where be the hands that did 
these deeds, or they that grasped, in helpless fury, the 
sword which the waters have now abandoned ? Sad record 
of a miserable time ! The dungeon-stone, with its pon- 
derous key, is there. ^Vhcre be they whose eyes it shut 
out from the world's light — whose groans it hid from the 
world's knowledge ? Horrible thought ! More terrible 
than death was that lingering existence in a living grave, 
tortured with thinking of all that might be without, and 
finding nothing but despair within. How long it must 
have seemed to wait for death ! 

But that, at all events, was sure. It might be waited 
for long, but it would not be waited for in vain. Lo ! 
these are the records of the inevitable fate of man. These 



"^i'^m 




-«C ^' 



THE ABBEY IN RUINS. 199 

skulls are the most awful of the ruins which we con- 
template. What are decaying walls ? Such works as man 
hath done, man may do again. But here is ruin indeed, 
and who shall pretend to rebuild it, or its likeness ? 

" Look on its broken arch, its ruined wall, 
Its chambers desolate, and portals foul : 
Yes, this was once Ambition's airy hall. 
The dome of Thought, the palace of the soul : 
Behold, through each lack-lustre, eyeless hole, 
The gay recess of Wisdom and of Wit, 
And Passion's host that never brooked control ; 
Can all saint, sage, or sophist ever writ 
People this lonely tower, this tenement refit ? " 

These, indeed, are sad and solemn relics of the deeds 
and of the actors of them, who have long ago been swept 
away '^ adow^n the gulf of time." Fearful relics ! But let 
us not, after all, while admitting and detesting the horrors 
of feudal tyranny, judge even these times too harshly. 
The victims of the tyrannies to which allusion has been 
made, were generally men of turbulence and ambition, 
who would themselves have been playing the part of 
tyrants over others, if they had not been the victims of 
tyranny themselves. Their lives were an alternation of 
conquest or of suffering, and wdth that they had laid their 
account. And though the ecclesiastical strongholds were 
often the scenes of cruelty and vengeance of their own, 
yet they, too, were the places of refuge, and the only 
available places of refuge, from the blind and headlong 
rage of infuriate princes and nobles, whose cruelty knew 
no limit, and whose power had scarcely any check, save 
that which was interposed by ecclesiastical authority and 
privilege. The sanguinary lord might pursue his vassal to 
the death, or wreak what vengeance his aroused passion 



200 EVENINGS AT UADDON HALL. 

might dictate upon the rival he had overcome, unless the 
convent opened its gates, beyond which the rude foot of 
brutal force dared not follow. There was in this way pro- 
vided, on many occasions, if not always, a home of peace 
amid the terrors of feudal war and persecution. 

Again, we are to remember that, along with these 
terrors and these tyrannies, there was also a protection 
for the common people. They belonged to their lord; 
they fought for him, and were fed by him, so long as the 
land gave enough of food for all. The tyranny of the 
feudal lord has been swept away, but another tyranny has 
succeeded — that of circumstances and of necessity. And 
the new tyranny spares the ambitious, adventurous, and 
turbulent few, while it falls with strong and stern hand 
upon the many. The feudal lord may no longer compel a 
man to the wars, but neither is the owner of great posses- 
sions bound to share them with the people. They have 
now a lord who is called Necessity ; and though they have 
theoretical and legal freedom, yet Necessity commands 
them to dig in the deep mine far from the light of day, 
or to labour at the loom, or to enlist in the factory army, 
and to submit to the drill and discij)line of the spinning- 
jenny, where the sound of the bell which summons them 
to work is quite as peremptory as the roll of the drum on 
military service. True, they may disregard it without fear 
of the halberts or the lash, but not without fear of " des- 
titution," which is no less sharp a punishment. In short, 
society, with all the progress it has made from the institu- 
tions and habits of the middle ages, has, for so far only, 
escaped from one kind of evil to another. The achieve- 
ment of a condition of society in which the multitude shall 
escape from the tyranny of the more powerful few, and 
yet have the benefit of protection, and a right to share iu 



THE ABBEY IN RUINS. 201 

whatever the land to which they belong produces, is yet a 
desideratum in the world's history, and perhaps will be till 
the millennium. It is much easier to effect changes than 
to make sure of improvements. Not that we should there- 
fore be deterred from constantly trying to improve ; but 
if we are wise, we shall neither indulge in indiscriminate 
scorn of the errors of antiquity, nor in the vanity of com- 
plete satisfaction with what we may conceive to be our 
own vastly improved methods of managing the affairs ot 
mankind. 

As for the monks, it were indeed easy enough to repeat 
the charges which have been justly made against the 
abuses of their establishments j nor is it to be doubted 
that superstition and laziness were in the monastic ages 
very common characteristics of the lives of these secluded 
worthies. 

But we should also bear in mind that these establish- 
ments did not always and altogether consist of abuses. 
At all times, but especially in periods when violence and 
war disturb society, and mar the fair face of eai'th, it 
is natural that certain portions of men should associate 
for the sake of peace and piety. It is natural that they 
should endeavour to find some kind of refuge, not merely 
from personal danger, but from " the shock of accident," 
and the perpetual disturbance of ordinary life. 

" What other yearning was the master tie 
Of the monastic brotherhood, upon rock 
Aerial, or in green, secluded vale, 
One after one, collected from afar — 
An undissolving fellowship ? What but this — 
The universal instinct of repose. 
The longing for confirmed tranquillity, 
Inward and outward ; humble yet sublime ; 
The life where hope and memory are as rne , 



202 EVENINGS AT H.VDDON HALL. 

Earth quiet and unclianged ; the human soul 

Consistent in self-rule ; and heaven reveal'd 

To meditation in that quietness 1 

Such was their scheme : thrice happy he who gained 

The end proposed ! And, though the same were misned 

By multitudes, perhaps obtained by none, 

They, ybr the attempt, and for the pains employed, 

Do in my present censure stand redeemed 

From the unqualified disdain that once 

Would have been cast upon them by my voice 

Delivering her decisions from the seat 

Of forward youth, that scruples not to solve 

Doubts, and determine questions, by the rules 

Of inexperienced judgment, ever prone 

To overweening faith ; and is inflamed 

By courage, to demand from real life 

The test of act and suffering, to provoke 

Hostility — how dreadful when it comes. 

Whether affliction be the foe, or guilt." 

So sings "Wordsworth, tlie prince of meditative philoso- 
phers, though some persons find a difficulty in discovering 
liveliness in his poetry. Yet, speaking (or singing) upon 
this very subject — that is, the desire of the human heart 
for peace — few will deny the extraordinary energy of his 
verse : — 

" Not alone 

Dread of the persecuting sword, remorse, 

Wrongs unredressed, or insults unavenged 

And unavengable, defeated pride, 

Prosperity subverted, maddening want, 

Friendship betrayed, affection unretumed. 

Love with despair, or grief in agony ; — 

Not always from intolerable pangs 

He fled, but compassed round by pleasure, sighed 

For independent happiness, craving peace. 

The central feeling of all happiness." 

Farewell, then, thou beautiful ruin of the olden time 
of religious brotherhood. Doubtless thou hadst thy scenes 



THE ABBEY IN RUINS. 203 

of woe and of terror, the emblems of which he scattered 
round. But let us believe that thy main purpose was 
that of peace, of a shelter from the storms, or from the 
satiety of the world, and of calm devotedness to the hopes 
of another and a better. 



POURTH EVENING. 



As the company assembled in the library on the fourth 
evening of the Lady Eva's Birthday Revels, they found her 
looking, even more anxiously than usual, for the arrival of 
her guests — for, at these literary meetings, she had now 
grown to regard the guests as hers, for the time being. 
On this occasion, however, it seemed that she looked for 
some one of those guests in particular ; and which of them 
it was, became evident on the entrance of a writer of a 
popular novel, the title of which pointed at one of the 
most celebrated of those historical localities, our Royal 
Palaces. 

" Ah !" she exclaimed, as the writer in question en- 
tered the library, " I thought you would never come ! 
Look at this beautiful picture — an Astrologer among his 
books. I do not very well know what astrologers are; 
very learned and very clever people, I have heard; and 
very wise in foretelling what ivill happen before it does 
happen. Is it not so ? Now, then, I will be an astro- 
loger, and will predict the pleasure you will afiford to all 
this good company, and to me in particular, if you will 
only tell us a story about this picture, as full of pleasant 



THE ASTROLOGER. 205 

mystery as that ' prophecy fulfilled/ which, I rememberj 
kept me wide awake all night after I read it." 

The request of the Lady Eva was complied with as 
frankly and promptly as it was made, and the company 
listened with marked attention to 



THE ASTROLOGER. 

*' Bear me on that blood track !" gasped convulsively 
Count Christofle^ vainly and feebly struggling with his 
comrades in arms, who were carrying their wounded friend 
from the field of Roras. " Bear me to her V he again 
indistinctly murmured; "let me but die at her feet — 
I'ather, let her trample me to death ; my arm it was that 
drew her blood I" He fainted, and was being slowly borne 
to the rear by his officers, when the foe, led on by the 
father of the wounded lady, roused to fury and exaspera- 
tion at what the former conceived to be a deliberate act 
of unmanliness, and only to be atoned for by the heart's 
blood of her dastardly assailant, pressed forward with 
resistless force, and broke the devoted band of the Al- 
bigenses. Dispirited by the fall of their leader, they gave 
way. 

The extraordinary appearance of the Lady Ludovica on 
the field of slaughter had taken the party of her father by 
surprise, and none more so than himself. At that moment 
the combat between the troops of the Duke of Savoy and 
those of the Protestants was at its hottest. The battle- 
ground was now, owing to the giving way of the Duke's 
army, a meadow, at the foot of a fort in which the lady 
bad, unknown to her father, secreted herself with one of 
her maids, to behold the varving fortunes of the fight, and 



20G EVENINGS AT HADDON HALL. 

from its embattled height pour out fervect prayers tc 
Heaven for success to the avengers of the holy lloniar. 
apostolic church. The fortunes of the day had varied ; at 
last the forces of heresy, which, though inferior to their 
adversaries in number, seemed united, and, led on by a 
youth, absolutely drove in those of the champions of the 
church. The quick eye of filial instinct perceived that her 
father was wounded ; his head bent over his horse's neck 
in an unequal conflict with his younger opponent; and, 
unable to restrain herself, she rushed from the tower down 
the steep ravine, the brink of which, w^hen calm, she had 
trembled to approach. Pushing her way amid pikemen 
and archers, she threw herself before her father, and the 
next moment received a sword-cut on her ivory shoulder, 
from the falchion of the leader of the adverse army, at that 
time in personal encounter with her parent. 

The life of the latter was undoubtedly saved by his 
daughter's sudden intervention, for though her person was 
unseen when the blow was aimed, it was not brought fully 
home before the fire-flashing eyes of the striker were in- 
voluntarily widened by the unlooked-for vision between 
him and his intended victim : and by the instinct of true 
valour, ere a thought could take birth in his brain, his 
arm became flaccid and aimless ; the weapon in his hand, 
missing the duke, glided on, rather than smote, the bust 
of the lady. From a fearful gash gushed the ruddy life- 
stream over her beauteous shoulders, staining the white 
robes that enveloped her figure, and trickling on the path 
up which she was carried. Count Cliristofle's failing 
vision was not insensible to the revolting spectacle. Horror 
and disgust overpowex'cd the instinct of self-preservation ; 
and had he not sunk under wounds in all parts of his 
person, he had resisted the succour and protection of his 



THE ASTROLOGER. 207 

soldiers, and had thrown himself from very shame on the 
soil stained with her blood. His eye had met hers but for 
a moment — it was a cruel one — too late to avert the act 
that would abase him for ever — too late to check the fatal 
blow. What man could forget the scoi-nful glance of a 
woman against whom his hand had been raised ? From 
that moment, until some hours afterwards, the smart of 
his wounds was unfelt. Count Christofle, insensible in 
the arms of his faithful guards, saw them not all cut to 
pieces in defending his helpless person from outrage — nor 
beheld the savage glee with which his captu.re was regarded 
by the victors. Halberds and battle-axes were raised for 
severing him limb from limb on the instant; and more 
than one impatiently claimed the honour of carrying on 
his pike the heretic^s head to the Duke of Savoy, as the 
most acceptable present that could be made. 

The axe was raised, and would have fallen, but for the 
suggestion of the grimmest and most relentless of the per- 
secutors of the reformed, Captain Mario, who, acting under 
the orders of the Marquis de Pianesse, had directed his 
soldiers, under pain of being shot as mutineers, to exter- 
minate every Protestant in the district of Roras, "from 
the oldest to the youngest amongst the males ; from the 
pregnant female to the sucking child." These horrid 
commands were obeyed by none of his papist soldiers with 
more zeal and cheerfulness than by one Irish Catholic 
regiment. "Drag the heretic to the tower of Mount 
Capulet," they cried ; " and, if possible, we will prolong 
his life, that he may suffer the tortures of the rack, and 
that it may ebb slowly, in excess of agony !" 

This brutal thought was received with cheers ; addi- 
tional punishment to a brother mortal who refuses to sub- 
stitute the word of an It?1inn nope for the word of Christ 



208 EVENINGS AT IIAUDO.N IIA) 



nimsclf, was, in the mind of these adherents of the former, 
an additional claim for the favour of the latter. By this 
mode of reasoning was Piedmont sought to be depopu- 
lated; stimulated and confirmed by the bull of Pope In- 
nocent the Eighth, dated 1487, and that of Pope John the 
Twenty-second, dated Avignon, 1332, expressly exhorting 
" all Catholics to extirpate heretics w'herever they exist, as 
well as to absolve all Catholics from censure iu breaking 
faith with one, let the pledge be of the most solemn nature 
soever." 

Count Christofle was therefore dragged up the rugged 
rock to the tower, and cast into a noisome dungeon. The 
Duke of Savoy received the intelligence of his enemy's 
capture with exultation. His highness enjoyed the dis- 
tinction of being the most bloodthirsty of the holy Catholic 
army employed in the murderous connnission issued by 
the. head of his church. He boasted of having impaled 
alive, and burnt, and hewn in pieces, more men and women 
and children than any of the generals embarked in this 
frantic service. These tortures and persecutions failed, 
however, to convince the simple mountaineers that Catho- 
licism was the only true type on earth of the mild church 
of Christ, whose law is " peace on earth and good will to 
all men." However their want of perception might be 
wondered at, its consequences were unflinchingly prose- 
cuted. This devoted people, driven from their mountain 
homes, their farms, and villages, by the emissaries of eight 
successive popes, had, in a moment of desperation, bound 
themselves together, as a last resource, into a legion ; re- 
solved to die at once with arms in their hands, rather than 
be seized singly for the stake and the gibbet. Their once 
smiling happy valley was now a scathed desert, blackened 
ruins only marking what had existed, ere conflagration 



TIIE ASTROLOGER. 209 

and the sword had laid waste and depopulated one of the 
fairest portions of God's earth. 

The young chief, under whose command they had 
sworn to range themselves, could boast of no high birth, 
had no support from alliances, and of territorial influence 
possessed not an acre. But his father was their valued 
pastor, and was a good man ; his flock thought him the 
best man living. What genealogical distinction could be 
prouder? Purity of conduct, almost bashful modesty, 
bravery united with prudence, the good word of the young 
and the smiles of the old, were his reward. He had dis- 
tinguished himself early for these qualities under Janavel, 
Laurens, and Beuet, and was bequeathed to his little band 
by the former redoubtable Swiss patriot, as the richest 
legacy he could leave them. Under him, the villagers of 
Lucerne, Bubiane, and Bargis, had attacked a force five 
times their number, posted at the foot of Mount Capulet, 
under the command of the Duke of Savoy. 

Covered with wounds, Count Christofle was laid upon a 
pallet ; the refined cruelty of the man into whose power he 
had fallen, seeking through surgical aid to revive his 
strength, and render his nerves more susceptible to the 
agonies of the torture. Fully aware that on his recovery 
from his wounds, — if he ever should recover, which he had 
no reason to desire, — he had nothing to expect but a 
miserable end at the hands of the Duke, the assiduities of 
a medical attendant greatly astonished the sufferer. 

He noticed that the Doctor placed a constraint upon 
himself, and spoke but little ; never more than was nece «- 
sary for acquiring a knowledge of the progress of his 
patient. He avoided his eye, and at every confession of 
amendment showed an uneasy aspect, and tokens of an 
unaccountable reservation of feeling which he would faiu 



210 EVENINGS AT IIADOON HALL. 

disguise; but the Count's interest — nay, respect — for his 
medical attendant, invokmtarily rose at these mysterious 
indications; a weaker man had been alarmed at them. 

One day, seeing that Dr. Ilcrsheim was alone in his 
room, the nurse who invariably accompanied him being 
dismissed on some errand, the Count raised himself in his 
bedj and put a question he had long desired to ask, whilst 
the burning blush of shame that rose on his cheeks implied 
the miserable sense of abasement which accompanied the 
inquiry. 

"Dr. Hersheim," faltered the Count, " in what state 
is the Lady Ludovica V 

"Lady ," scarcely articulated Dr. Hersheim ; re- 
lieving his embarrassment by pretended inattention to his 
querist. 

"The Lady Ludovica — yes; I could not have been 
deceived ; though but for a second did her beauteous face 
flash before my eyes.^' 

This was true ; for the lady had thrown her arms 
upwards to her father's neck, as he sunk from his horse 
before two terrific strokes on his cuirass and helmet from 
the Count's two-handed sword. 

Dr. Hersheim regarded his patient for some time in 
silence — a cause for hate struggling with a generous 
nature, and its offspring compassion. The nurse re-entered ; 
he seemed relieved by this interruption to further conver- 
sation, and in a few minutes more the prisoner was left 
alone. 

No opportunity arrived for some days to renew the 
inquirj', though it was on the Count's tongue whenever 
any movement of the nurse betokened a temporary retreat 
from the bed on which he lay. He thought that Dr. 
Hersheim was aware of his desire to repeat the inquiry; 



THE ASTROLOGER. 211 

and avoided its recurrence by watchfully retaining a third 
person at his elbow. Yet how^ Dondered he^ could the 
doctor have dived into his thoughts^ and imagine cause lor 
embarrassment on the part of the inquirer^ unless motives 
for shrinking from naming the lady existed in himself 
also ? Surmises^ uneasy, because undefined, floated in his 
brain that evening, and made the still hours of the solitary 
night more cold and disheartening. 

Another slept uneasily in the fort that night. Was 
it the Lady Ludovica ? No ; it was the young disciple of 
^sculapius himself. He had, for the care and treatment 
of his patient, a double set of instructions — two-fold, yet 
how contrary ! One originating in cruelty, thirsting for 
revenge, and another in woman's tenderness to the stricken, 
in which her own wrongs are ever forgotten. Unhap- 
pily for his peace of mind, the channel and instrument of 
these instructions was far from being impassive for the 
secret purposes of either party. The Lady Ludovica was 
acquainted with her father's implacable temper, and the 
terrible ordeal destined for his gallant captive on return 
of convalescence, and knew that this savage parent had 
resolved he should undergo, prior to the exhaustion of 
strength and extinction of life, under its excruciating tor- 
ments. She was a lady of high spirit, great beauty, and 
of that command of temper which irresistibly sways all 
minds within the sphere in which their possessor moves. 
The young Genevese doctor worshipped the high-born 
beauty from a humble distance, but his adoration was from 
his very heart. He would not repress the self-exaltation 
of his devotion ; but he knew its object to be as remote 
from his destinies as the bright morning-star, shooting her 
gentle radiance through the mists of receding night. 

At the end of a month the Count was able to walk in 



212 EVENINGS AT IIADDON HALL. 

a corridor atljoiiiinp: his cell, a much superior apartment to 
liis first lodging within these walls. To his astotiishmenf, 
a tall female, with a single attendant, entered the cor- 
ridor from a small portal, which was instantly closed after 
them. Siie advanced up the passage, only lighted fro:n 
narrow gratings in the thick stone walls. Count Christofle 
drew back before her stately form, the upper portion of 
which was enveloped in a cloak, which, thrown over the 
head, and held together by her left hand, would have pre- 
cluded any glimpse of her face, even had sufficient light 
from the gratings allowed it. 

He retreated to his cell, at the door of which he per- 
ceived the muffled female pause, as it were, hesitating to 
enter. She entered not, but stood immovable for some 
minutes before him. Silence was not broken by either 
party. The lady turned round, was the next moment 
})lunged in the gloom of the corridor, and, before Count 
Christofle could recover from his amazement, and grope 
his way towards the quarter where she had disappeared, the 
small door was closed with a dull firm clang, which told, 
as far as sound could indicate, of the hopelessness of 
escape, save possessed of the means of working its pon- 
derous lock of six well-sprung bolts. 

He now regretted his want of courage to address the 
figure, of whose identity he remained uncertain. Some 
one was surely interested in his fate. Save from his 
medical attendant, no word of comfort had been uttered 
during his melancholy incarceration. The few words of 
kindness dropt from the latter were treasured for days 
after they fell from the amiable Doctor's lips. Their 
remembi'ance, and the scanty segments of sunshine that 
'or a brief period of the day speckled the cold stone wall 
of his cell, formed the sole materials for cheerfulness. 



THE ASTROLOGER. 213 

Beyond these, lie had nothiug to expect until the gates of 
heaven should pour a flood of celestial brightness upon 
his soul, and give to his spirit above the rest denied to it 
on earth. He was, however, seized with a shivering fit 
during the night, and on the approach of daylight was in 
a state of high nervous fever. 

By Dr. Hersheim^s manner it was evident that a change 
in the bodily health of the Count was anticipated. The 
Doctor was earlier than usual in his attendance, and from 
the moment of his entrance to that of his departure, his 
eye never ceased regarding his patient uneasily. For the 
next few days he was weaker than he had been since his 
imprisonment. On the fourth from the day of the visit of 
the veiled figui-e, the Doctor, in a tone of indifference and 
ill-dissembled reluctance at being made the medium of 
communication, informed him that a religious lady, a 
Sister of Charity, who wished to speak to him on points 
connected with the salvation of his soul, would be in his 
apartment the following morning. 

" Will not the bigots let me die in peace ? To listen 
for a moment to one of them is a compromise of my con- 
stancy to the cause for which they persecute unto death. 
Spare me. Doctor I" 

The Doctor seemed touched by the energy of his appeal, 
and was about to shape the request more persuasive^, 
when the Count seized his arm, and with grinding teeth, 
and eveiy muscle of his attenuated frame knit, with an 
effort which a sense of utter hopelessness alone could have 
endowed the prostrated youth, he almost shrieked in the 
former's face : 

" Doctor ! you have practised upon me. If I am to 
die by poison, why is it slow and tormenting ? I once 



21-1. EVEXIXGS AT IIADDOX HALL. 

tliouglit I bad a frieud in you. Oli, my God ! how have 
I been deceived !" 

Doctor Hcrshcim rose from the bed on which he was 
sitting. Successful as he had hitherto been in couceahng 
his sympathies and sentiments, this direct attack on his 
ujn-ightness and humanity overcame his discretion, and he 
fxclaimed: — 

" Poison thee, brave youth ! That end would have 
been too happy a one in the eyes of the powers that con- 
trol both thee and me; and a destiny" to be envied by all 
who are at their mercy.^' 

" Then Avhy am I thus thrown back from the hour 1 
took that potion from thy hands, and was persuaded by 
rhoc to be nearly bled to death V he muttered, in bitter 
and disdainful accents. 

" To deprive thy energies, from waste or pain's endur- 
ance, from giving thee further being in the world. Wouldst 
thou have executioners draw drop by droj) thy blood; or 
wouldst thou yield it me for lengthened life ? AVouldst 
have it prolonged at the behest of an angel, or short- 
ened by a '' fiend, the excited Doctor would have 

said, but aware that too much had fallen from him, he 
checked himself. 

" An angel !" murmured the exhausted prisoner, uncon- 
scious of the Doctor's emotion. 

" That angel thou shalt see this night," exclaimed Dr. 
Hcrshcim, unable to veil his kindly feelings towards a 
tyrant's helpless victim, though that victim had acquired 
an interest, by his sufferings and his impending fate, in a 
bosom in which he had for many years prayed to have but 
the humblest place. 

Count Christofle, supposing it was to the angelic attri- 



THE ASTROLOGER. 215 

butes of a devoted Sister of Charity that his doctor alluded, 
shook his head slowly, to mark how greatly he desired to 
be spared her visit, thcu sunk on his pillow. 

He was visited next morning by Dr. Hersheim, who. 
whilst informing him of the approach of the holy Sister of 
Charity, appeared desirous of adding something, but 
checked himself. A few moments after his departure, a 
female in the garb of a Sister of that holy order which 
aspires to earn, by ceaseless watchings round the bed of 
pain, the rewards promised by God to those who " visit the 
sick and fatherless in affliction,^' entered the apartment. Her 
face was concealed by a veil woi'n under the white coif, 
which is the distinguishing mark of the Sisters, but that 
her eyes were large and expressive he could plainly per- 
ceive. In a collected and firm tone she at once told him 
that her object in paying a visit to the greatest foe of her 
church was to oifer him pardon from the Duke, as well as 
absolution from the Archbishop of Arun, if he would 
renounce heresy, and bid his brethren do likewise. With 
warmth and energy she painted the beauty of unity, and 
the duty of obedience to God's priesthood in his church, 
the torments in the next world awaiting rebellion against 
its canons, and the duty of their holy head, the Pope, in 
this, to exterminate contemners of his ordinances. The 
church had never a more persuasive and eloquent mis- 
sionary, or one who clothed its dogmas more attractively. 

The Count, raising his head upon his hand, leaned 
forward from his pillow as respectfully as his weakness 
would permit; but his anxiety was, not to hear her elo- 
quent sophistry, or to allow himself to be entranced with 
the beautiful garb in which subtlety and enthusiasm wxre 
dressing errors, but to imprint upon his own mind the 
faint outlines of feature partly visible through the veil, 



21G F.VEMNfJS AT IIADKOX IIALL. 

that lie might beguile his solitary hours at her departure, 
with pauitiug, by the aid of imagination, a countenance 
worthy of them. 

During her discourse, she paused several times, as if 
expecting a rei)ly; but the Count had no wish to interrupt 
his earnest counsellor, who rose to depart, after bidding 
him weigh well the words she had spoken. 

The next day the lady came again, as before attended 
by a Sister of the same order, who stood apart during the 
interview, and whom the Count desired to be seated in 
vain. At the close of this interview, the lady spoke more 
rapidly, and he thought with some show of mortitication 
at her want of success, for he still preserved silence : the 
sweet sound of woman's voice, apart from the subject that 
evoked it, reminded him too much of the world he had 
quitted, of happier hours never to return, and was too en- 
trancing to permit him to interrupt its enchantment. 

At parting the supposed Sister left a book in his 
hands, with earnest injunctions to read it in a right mind. 
He found it to be a defence of the papal faith, by Bellar- 
mine. He had seen this book frequently, and heard its 
sophistry exposed. He resolved to put on paper all that 
he recollected of the arguments of the most learned of the 
Reformers of the age a century before the one in which 
he lived, as well as of those who had been the light of the 
primitive church of the Waldenses. 

To learned refutations of modern errors engrafted upon 
the church by her hierarchy, the Count added confutations 
of the charges against his brethren, extorted by their 
behaviour, from the lips of those who would fain be their 
persecutors. He bade his fair spiritual adviser remember 
that a high authority in her church, Jacob de Riberia, 
confessed, " that the Albigenses taught their children, 



THE ASTROLOGER. 217 

yea, even their daughters, the epistles and gospels, and that 
he had heard a plain countryman repeat the book of Job, 
and divers others that could perfectly repeat the whole New 
Testament." He reminded her that a friend of the Duke 
of Savoy, the Bishop of Cavaillon, appointed a monk to 
dispute with them, but that he returned and declared 
" that he had not so much profited in his whole life in the 
Scriptures as he had done in those few days of his con- 
ference with the Waldenses." The Count continued at 
his new employment on behalf of the faith he inherited 
from his fathers, which he had hitherto only defended with 
his sword. At times he sunk from exhaustion, at others 
he seemed supported in his work of devotion with super- 
natural aid; words from the source of truth flowing un- 
ceasingly over his page. 

At length the visitant, bent upon the conversion of a 
soul from perdition, was again in his prison-room ; and 
the pages he had written were respectfully presented to 
her at the close of a more impassioned address than he 
had yet heard from beneath the closely-veiled coif ; but 
its wearer recoiled from them as from a poisonous ser- 
pent, after hearing from their writer the nature of their 
contents. 

" I came to save thy life on earth, and thy soul in 
eternity," she said ; '^ thou meetest my intercession with 
contumacious persistence in error. The Lord have mercy 
on thee ! " 

Here she was overcome with emotion, and Count 
Christofle, alarmed lest she should fall from the mise- 
rable seat that supported her by his bed-side, stretched 
out his arm. Rising at the same moment, her veil caught 
his hand, and disclosed the noble features of the Lady 
Ludovica, under the stifl" linen coif of a Sister of Charity. 



218 KVEMNGS AT HADDOV HALL. 

There was more than religious interest in the brilhancy 
of her dark hazel eye and flushed cheek. Solitude and 
reflection had enirraven the momentary vision of the lady 
of the battle-field upon his memory. These, at the raising 
of the veil, flashed so vividly over his mind, that, uttering 
a wild cry, he fell back on his pallet and fainted. 

The lady, darting a frightened glance at his pale, 
insensible countenance, directed her attendant to call in- 
stantly Dr. Hersheim, who had remained in the corridor ; 
her hand involuntarily clasping that of the prisoner by an 
impulse consistent in any one with consciousness of having 
endangered the life of a fellow-creature, as well as, perhaps, 
with feelings which to herself she would refuse to ac- 
knowledge. 

The Doctor started at beholding the noble lady bend- 
ing over the person of his patient, her face marked with 
expressions so at variance with the proud majesty that 
awed the loftiest peers and the most stately dames of the 
Court of Savoy. He was by the bed-side, in her presence, 
ere he was perceived ; when, gracefully rising, without 
betraying any surprise or annoyance at the discovery of 
her position, the lady quitted the room. 

The Doctor, perceiving the closely-written pages which 
were lying on the bed, where they had dro])ped from the 
Count's hands, shrugged his shoulders, half repented of 
his indulgence to his patient, and proceeded to restore 
him. This was not effected so quickly as he expected. 
Reaction from strong emotion is slow in a weakened 
frame. 

Under a change of treatment, his strength altogether 
recovered, for nature was no longer tampered with. Hav- 
ing one morning, with a bitter smile, expressed his wonder 
to Dr. Hersheim at the Duke of Savoy's delay of the gra» 



THE ASTROLOGER. 219 

tification of his revenge^ now that his victim was ripe for 
the slaughter, the former, with a warmth and frankness 
never before evinced, took both his hands in his, and bade 
him from that moment consider that he was his friend. 

" Pardon me,^' replied the Count, with the spirit which 
returning health had restored to him ; " the relentless 
persecutor of the humble followers of the gospel, and my- 
self, can have no mutual friends ; and as long as I am a 
prisoner only for being a humble soldier of the latter, the 
minions of the former and myself are sworn foes." 

" For your distrust I will not censure you ; but the 
day may speedily arrive when you may find a difficulty in 
pardoning yourself for it." 

With these mysterious words, the Doctor prepared to 
take his leave. 

"When shall I see you again ? — have I still the privi- 
lege of being on your sick list? Though I hold our 
friendship but conditional, I would not exchange willingly 
my doctor for a turnkey," said the Count, perceiving his 
motion towards the door. 

'' This evening, I will return. Do not prepare your- 
self for repose. It may be late, but you shall see me,^^ 
said the Doctor, in a firm tone and assuring manner 

That evening. Count Christofle, conducted beyond the 
ramparts by Hersheim, quitted the Tower of Capulet by a 
path well known to him, over the mountains, to Aix in 
Dauphine, and rested there three days, to cheer the spirits 
of some devoted refugees, who forgot their own danger in 
joy at beholding their leader alive and at liberty. He then 
repassed the mountain, skirting one of the Alps, by Villar 
and Bobi, named Pelaa de Geanvet. With not more than 
twenty men, he surprised Lucernette, a village near Lu- 
cerne, and killed many of the Duke's army. A thousand 



220 EVENINGS AT ITADDON HALL. 

troops were instantly roused to arms, but Christoflc and 
his band cut their way through this surrounding force 
without losing a man. 

Sick at heart with all he heard, and despairing of 
brighter days for his countrymen, he resolved to enter the 
service of the great champion of Protestantism, Gustavus 
Adolphus ; and communicating his views to an officer of 
that prince, who was then in Piedmont, encouraging the 
Protestants in their resistance of Catholic tyranny, was 
entreated by that gentleman to repair immediately to 
Stockholm. 

In the wars of the King of Sweden, Count Christoile 
maintained his justly acquired reputation, and towards the 
close of three years from the period of escaping from the 
Tower of Mount Capulet, had amassed a sum large enough 
to carry into effect a long-cherished plan of transporting 
himself and a select band of adventurers to the newly- 
planted colony of Delaware, in North America, whither 
many Swedes and Saxons had already repaired. Instead 
of embarking from the Swedish ports, the place of rendez- 
vous fixed on was Trieste, a ship being there placed at 
their disposal. Count Christofle passed through Germany; 
found most of his party already at Trieste, but learnt that 
two of their number were at i\Ialta, witli an assorted cargo 
of the productions of the Levant, which would prove highly 
valuable at their place of final destination. 

Whilst his brother- adventurers were busily engaged 
embarking the goods that were to yield them this profit, 
Christofic traversed every part of the island, so long the 
stronghold of the intrepid military monks of the Christian 
faith, and the bulwark against the westward progress of 
Moslem invasion. 

He found every one full of the praise of a wonderful 



THE ASTROLOGER. 221 

Astrologer, who not only responded to his querist cor- 
rectly, and foretold the domestic incidents of every man's 
future life, but presented individuals to each other who 
were dwelling a thousand miles apart. The Count was no 
exception to his cotemporaries ni entertaining an universal 
belief in auguries disclosed by the disciples of astral sci- 
ence. He found that the Astrologer was reported to have 
been once a physician, who, from a disappointment in love, 
had betaken himself to the occult studies, in which he had 
become such a master as to be consulted from all parts of 
Christendom. 

To this Astrologer he resolved to repair, in order to 
learn all he could about the powerful lady who, he doubted 
not, had saved his life — whether the merit he attributed 
to her was her due, and whether she had been induced to 
influence her father to abate his rigour against his Protes- 
tant subjects, — and if so, whether from a conviction of the 
abuses introduced into the church of Rome, or from kind- 
ness for him. This last reason embodied illusions too 
flattering not to be cherished, groundless and visionary as 
he in calmer moments was obliged to confess them to be. 

The Astrologer had resided two years at Malta, under 
the especial patronage of its knights, and three years had 
elapsed on the very day of the Count's visit to him, since 
the nocturnal flight of the latter from the Tower of Mount 
Capulet. The Astrologer's abode was in the chapter-house 
of a decayed hospital, or institution of these military 
monks. Its octagonal form contributed greatly to the 
picturesque aspect of its internal architecture, which was 
not a little heightened by the grotesque objects that met 
the eye on all sides. Every bird, beast, and fish, whose 
shape outrages nature's harmony, or disgusts by its dis- 
tasteful features, was found hung in mid-air, in varying 



i:Vi:.VINGS AT IIADDOX UXLL. 



attitudes, from the roof to the floor of tlie chapter-hou?e, 
ranged round the central column of the crypt. The form 
of the apartment much aided the effect of its contents; 
for nowhere could the eye rest amid the bewilderment of 
objects. 

The man of destiny was tall, stately, and venerable ; 
a long beard fell on his bi'east, and his eyes were dee})ly 
sunk in his head ; he was enveloped in a rich green mantle 
deeply edged with sable, a cap of the latter material cover- 
ing his head. At the Count^s entry, the Astrologer was 
seated before a table covered with horoscopes and planetary 
tj'pcs for the calculations of nativities. After raising his 
liead in the direction where the former stood, he started 
backwards, but immediately recovering his wonted com- 
jjosure, dexterously, though gracefully, drew his mantle 
more closely around him, and by a scarcely perceptible 
motion, pulled his cap over his forehead, so as more com- 
pletely to shade the upper part of his face. He waved 
silence to his visitor, but put out his hand to receive the 
paper on which the hour of his birth was written, as well 
as the questions to be propounded, which the former, know- 
ing the regulated forms exacted by these mysterious per- 
sonages, had duly prepared. On it was written — " Dati; 
of my birth, 16 May, 1630, at 5 m. past 6 in the evening 
— Was Lady Ludovica, daughter of the Duke of Savoy, 
the contriver of my escape from the Tower of Mount 
Capulet? — What is her employment at this moment? 
and upon whom and what does she most think ?" 

The Astrologer held this paper so long in his hands, 
that Count Christofle imagined it had been written un- 
intelligibly, and was about to offer verbal explanation, when 
the former betrayed so much agitation of manner, that 
he feared to approach or disturb him. After a visible 



THE ASTROLOGER. 223 

effort to recover himself, the sage, in a voice the Count 
thought he had often heard before, desired him to stand 
outside of two circles drawn on the floor. Flanking them, 
due noji'th and south, were two large globes, and in the 
centre was a sarcophagus from the pyramids, carved on 
every side with the mystic cabala of the Magi of Egypt. 
The twelve signs of the zodiac were drawn between the 
outer and inner circles. The Astrologer waved his wand 
round its centre, occasionally pointing it towards Sagitta- 
rius, and gazing intently upon the contents of the sarco- 
phagus, from which a grateful perfume was dispensing 
itself around. Sagittarius was the sign under which the 
nativity of his questioner was cast. 

After some moments spent in cabalistic invocations to 
strange sounding names, which he could not catch, the 
Astrologer, in a solemn voice, said — "Thou art governed 
by the first lord of the triplicity of the tenth house, and wilt 
be fortunate, and arrive at honour. Thou hast been con- 
stant and devoted, and the cause thou hast fought for 
with thy blood shall triumph in the face of heaven. In 
the west shall arise a mighty nation, sprung from Eng- 
land, the cradle of the religion 'whose worship,^ as the 
service of the church saith, 'is perfect freedom,' where 
tyranny and persecution for conscience sake shall not so 
much as be heard of in the length and breadth of its beau- 
tiful land. The country which shall send forth these chil- 
dren of light will be the beacon of thy faith, the soil where 
God shall be worshipped in spirit, and where no man 
maketh his fellow afraid. But in combating Antichrist, 
thou must enlist Charity, the sister of Truth ; learning and 
an instructed mind will convert more than the sword." 

The Count showed signs of impatience, which the As- 
trologer perceived ; and after some further remarks upon 



22 i ''EVENiNUS AT IIADDOX HALL. 

tlic positions of the planets in conjunction with liis nativity 
sign, he regarded him so intently, whilst his hand, still 
holding the wand, passed to and fro before his forehead, 
that the Count felt a sensation altogether different from 
any he had yet experienced. The atmosphere before him 
over the sarcophagus became a luminous medium. Gradu- 
ally thin vapoury clouds floated before the centre of the 
luminous atmosphere, thickening and becoming more 
opaque, as, dispelling themselves, they diminished the re- 
lief of the grotesque intercepting objects. Behind deep 
volumes of cloud was silvery moonlight : the planet itself 
was seen in unclouded loveliness, its cold rays fading on 
the form of a lady, who, as far as he was able to discern 
through the clouded foreground, was bending over a vol- 
ume. Whilst the clouds gradually fell away to the right 
and the left, the bright moon above her made clearly 
visible the features, shape, and dress of this lady, whose 
slender neck, finely-moulded head, and magnificent bust, 
as they thus slowly developed themselves, could leave no 
doubt of their possessor. 

Count Christofle breathed fast. His question was 
answered ! The recumbent lady before him in the pale 
moonbeams was the angel that loosened his bonds and 
delivered him from a shameful death. Deep and solemn 
were the commencing incantations of the commanding 
genius of this mystic revelation ; but they assumed a 
louder and more authoritative tone as the vision became 
more distinct ; and as the lady turned over a leaf without 
raising her eyes, his voice became awfully sonorous, its 
triumphant tone communicating a corresponding thrill of 
exultation to his enraptured client, who was also wrought 
up to a state of excitement that would have prostrated him 
before the figure, but for a power unseen that kef t hinj 



THE ASTROLOGB! 225 

standing spell-bound where he was With the softest 
move of her transparent hand, the page was turned, and 
at the same moment a ray of crystal light fell on the 
feathery leaf of her phantom volume. The eyes of Chris- 
tofle read his own words written by his own hand in the 
pi'isoa tower; the pages under the intent meditation of 
the beautiful spirit before him were the same he had 
placed in her corporeal hands, and had seen left, con- 
temned, on the floor of his cell, up to the last hour of hi?. 
detention, for he had not had the heart to remove them. A 
film passed over his eyes, and the next moment all traces 
of the vision were fled. Instead of a bright celestial atmo- 
sphere, in the serene depths of which he had been existing 
for a period measurable by no method of time, an alligator 
was swinging before his eyes between two stufi'ed owls ; 
and the Astrologer was standing outside of the zodiac ou 
the floor. 

"Thou art satisfied, gallant youth," murmured the 
Astrologer; "I know thou art. Set forth on thy journey. 
Thou hast no more to ask of the devoted disciple of Cor- 
nelius Agrippa ? " 

" I would know tidings of an old friend who, next to 
her whom thou hast made visible to my eyes by thy art, 
claims my honour and service." 

" I know whom thou meanest. Regard him also," 
exclaimed the Astrologer, moving behind the column of 
the crypt ; and Count Christofle the nest moment beheld 
Dr. Hersheim, in the same dress in which he visited liiui 
in prison. He would have thrown himself into his arms 
and embraced him ; but immediately a glare of blue flame, 
followed by a thick sulphureous vapour, passed between 
the Doctor and himself, and from it came these words — 
''In three days thou shalt see me again!" In another 

Q 



2.26 EVEXIXGS AT IIADDON HALL. 

nioineut the Astrolo;j;cr's cap of sable towered above hig 
iinplemeiits and sj)heies, and the Count was recoiling from 
the column, rubbing his shoulder after a hard bruise, to 
which his anxietj^ to embrace his prison doctor had sub- 
jected him. Shortly after, the Count found himself in 
broad daylight, outside the chapter-house. 

The revelations involved in the vision he had just 
beheld were not to be slighted. Count Christotle instantly 
resolved to repair to Lucerne, and satisfy himself of their 
verity. If so, what an alteration might not the change of 
religious opinion in the daughter make upon the councils 
of the father. Could it be possible that he was to be instru- 
mental in working a change on which the lives of thousands 
must depend ? lie decided to leave Malta by a vessel now 
in the harbour, bound for Genoa, and rejoin his friends at 
Gibraltar, on his return from Lucerne, where he induced 
them to believe pressing business demanded his presence. 

He took ship next day, and landed in Sicily on the 
third, when the first person who greeted him on shore was 
Dr. Hersheim. The crowd on the quay was great. The 
various costumes of the motley population of this island, 
with those of the soldiery of a dozen different powers, 
always touching there on their passage from the Levantine 
States, distracted his attention for some minutes. He had 
grasped his good friend's hands, and received a salute on 
both the cheeks, after the manner of his countrymen ; the 
embrace was warm and human ; he felt it the harbinger 
of a renewal of associations with the land of his birth ; ytt 
he could not entirely overcome a sensation of awe and 
astonishment, amounting even to distrust of his senses, as 
he beheld the form phased so pi-etcrnaturally to them but 
a few hours previously, in the chapter-iiouse at Malta. 
His quickened susceptibility for aerial revelation now 



i 



THE ASTRt)i.UGEE. 227 

pictured, under the crimson and green scarf of a Neapoli- 
tan fish-wife, the Madonna of the Capella Sistina — the 
reahsation of majestic womanhood, of that tremendous 
geniu^ and grand moral being, Michael Angelo. And, as 
the features under his gaze relaxed from spiritual to 
mundane perfection, he could have sworn that the visitant 
of his prison cell, the eloquent and beautiful Sister of 
Charity, was before him. In his delirium of joy and 
astonishment, he turned to his friend, who was but a few 
moments before cordially welcoming him to a strange land. 
He was not there, nor to be found amid the crowd, nor 
could any one say that such a person had been seen. He 
believed himself still to be under the influence of enchant- 
ment, and was now more than ever anxious to find himself 
in Lucerne. 

He landed at Genoa; and he there heard that the 
inhabitants of the numerous towns and villages who held 
fast to the simple faith of their fathers still gz'oaned under 
oppression. 

On the second day of his arrival, news came that this 
persecution had ceased altogether, by order of the Duke 
of Savoy, on the very day that Count Christofle had 
consulted the wondrous Astrologer at Malta ; and the 
story in Genoa ran, that a sudden conversion of the Duke's 
only daughter was the cause of this unlooked-for clemency. 
She was found one morning by her maids, it was said, 
reclining on her couch, so deeply engaged in perusing 
some sheets of manuscript before her as to be insensible to 
their approach, and they found that she had not disrobed, 
nor had sought slumber during the night ; nay, that 
without a pause for the daily arrangement of the toilette, 
she had sought her father in his bed-chamber, and after 
falling on her knees, and praying to Heaven for strength 



228 EVENINGS AT IIADDON HALL. 

to endure the consequences of tlie course she was about ta 
take, had declared to him that she would quit his palace, 
repair to England^ and incite the Lord Protector of that 
Connnonwealth (then regarded as the head of the Protes- 
tant interest in Europe) to make war upon his principality, 
unless persecution throughout it entirely ceased. The 
Duke, who was ever influenced by the masculine mind of 
his child, promised all she desired ; and the latter refused 
to take meat or drink, or change her disordered apparei, 
until orders were despatched to publish the anmesty 
throughout the valleys of Piedmont. To this intelligence 
was added, that the writings which had ultimately wrought 
such a joyful amelioration in the condition of his country- 
men had been found in a cell from which an heretic 
prisoner had escaped some three years previous, and 
which had been from that time unoccupied. 

Arrived at Lucerne, he had the happiness of finding 
all he had heard at Genoa perfectly true, and of receiving 
the highest reward a son can take fi'om the hands of a 
parent — the blessing of his aged father, to whom alone 
he imparted his share in restoring the peace of the valley. 

The words of the Astrologer still rung in his cars, 
promising him success and good fortune in all his under- 
takings. He resolved not to be distrustful of the augury, 
already in part so wonderfully realised, but go forward to 
the New World with the companions he had engaged to 
join. This resolution was no sooner taken, than a message 
by one of the chamberlains of Lady Ludovica invited him 
to her presence, with an intimation that her influence with 
her father was at his command, to obtain any post of 
honour, advantage, or privilege, he might desire. The 
terms of the invitation left no doubt of the anxiety of his 
fair and distinguished convert to see him. Men possessed 



THE ASTROLOGER. 229 

of a less susceptible mind would have rushed exuitingly to 
so flattering and propitious an interview, but the Count 
recoiled therefrom, instantly resolving not to retard his 
departure from Europe a single day. His hand had 
smitten the form of this lady : and his eyes could never 
again knowingly meet hers; though her kindness towards 
him assured him that her forgiveness was sincere, his ears 
could not endure to hear her lips pronounce it ; his 
manliness would receive a shock therefrom, and all the 
purpose of his existence be paralyzed, by the abasement of 
that moment. 

To carry out the prediction of the Astrologer, he fled 
the patronage of his sovereign's daughter, all-powerful as 
he knew her to be. The lady was astonished at this 
disdain of her favour, and sent to the Astrologer, in Malta, 
to learn its cause. He declared — "that the destinies of 
both the Count and herself forbade another interview in 
this world ; and that, having accomplished her glorious 
work of pacification, her own end was nigh." Had the 
Count and herself, he said, met after the wonderful effect 
produced on her mind by the former's written pages, their 
feelings would have been too deeply interested in each 
other to bave parted ; and the impossibility of their union, 
and her own short space of life, must have lessened the 
power of the former to accomplish the great cause to which 
she would die a martyr. This noble lady expired shortly 
afterwards, from poison administered by a villain, in hopes 
of finding favour with Rome. So was fulfilled, to the 
letter, the prediction of the Astrologer. 



Near to the Lady Eva was seated a venerable diplo- 
matist, who had known her from her cradle, and felt for 



230 EVENINGS AT IIAUDON HALL. 

licr all the tender attachment of a father. "When the fore- 
going tale was conclucled, the Lady Eva arose, but paused, 
as if in doubt whether she might venture to solicit this 
dear old friend to assist her project ; at length, conquering 
her feeling of shyness, she glided gently behind the 
Baron's chair, and affectionately resting both her beautiful 
arms on his shoulders, held before him a drawing repre- 
senting an Italian landscape, with a marble fountain, and 
a guitar lying on the steps leading to it. 

As the graceful Eva bent forward, her rich and luxuri- 
ant ringlets softly caressed the furrowed cheeks of the old 
I)i])lomatist, whilst she whispered — "Will it tax your 
indulgent goodness too much to fulfil my request ?" And 
here let us observe, that the Baron's appearance did truly 
embody the very ideal of " indulgent goodness." Ilis 
silver hair partly shaded a forehead rejjlete with wisdom 
and profound observation, whilst the expression of his eyes 
and mouth was so redolent of sweet benevolence, that he 
never failed to awaken confidence in the pure and young. 
Often, indeed, had he been heard to say, that the brightest 
pages he had learned in the history of the human heart 
were from the outpourings of young and unsophisticated 
minds. 

Fondly pressing the Lady Eva's tiny hand in his, he 
said, " Dear child, I am too old to weave the web of 
fiction ; but, strange to say, this print evokes in my 
memory some scenes of days long gone by ; and often 
have you reminded me of the interesting girl who was the 
heroine of that tale." 

Then sighing, as he fondly gazed on Eva's speaking 
countenance, he added, " You are fair and good as she 
H'as, sweet maiden, ^lay you enjoy a happier destiny "' 

The Baron then proceeded to relate :he story of 



THE GUARDIAN ANOET.. 231 

THE GUARDIAN ANGEL. 

In the opening of the spring of 1829, when Paris, by 
its gaieties and fetes, was attracting and enthralling the 
natives of every part of Europe, the young and noble 
diplomatist, the Marquis de Queraucy, was suddenly 
ordered to proceed without delay to Naples, with important 
despatches. To any other Frenchman, such an order at 
that moment would have conveyed inexpressible annoy- 
ance. But even Paris had failed to rekindle one throb of 
pleasure in the mind of De Querancy. All things seemed 
to him tasteless and hollow in the most brilliant salons he 
frequented. Did a murmur of applause direct his atten- 
tion to any new beauty among the many syrens of the day, 
his calm and passionless countenance reflected neither 
emotion nor admiration. In such a temper of mind, it 
could be no grief to him to leave Paris ; and having but 
a few hours to prepare for his journey, he determined not 
even to make a single visit of adieu, except to a young 
Englishman, Clarence Russell, with whom he had travelled 
in the East, where they had become intimate, and much 
attached to each other. Clarence Russell, like the gene- 
rality of his countrymen, ever desirous of change of scene, 
proposed, on the spur of the moment, to accompany him to 
Naples, an offer which was gladly accepted by De Querancy, 
and the two fi-iends left Paris together. 

It had been the Marquis de Querancy's intention to 
travel day and night till they reached Naples, but when 
they came within sight of the Eternal City, Clarence 
Russell mentioned, for the first time, that he had never 
seen Rome. " Of course, my dear Arthur," he added, 
" you will indulge me by remaining here one night ? I 



233 EVENINGS AT II ADDON HALL. 

care only to visit St. Peter's in the nioriiiiitr, and will be 
ready to start immediately after." De Qnerancy felt it 
would be too churlish to refuse his friend so natural a 
desire, but it was with a heavy sigh that he consented to 
it. Alas ! Rome, the mighty sepulchre of the martyred 
saints, the great and the wise of yore, was also the sepul- 
chre of all the Marquis's earthly hopes. 

When the friends drove up to Cerny's well-known 
hotel, Piazza di Spayna, it was about four o'clock in the 
afternoon, and having ordered dinner for seven, they 
sauntered forth in that listless way usual to travellers who 
want to kill time in the interim due for the preparation of 
meals. Wrapt up in his own sad thoughts, De Querancy 
followed Clarence Russell whichever road he chose to lead. 
After walking some time, the latter called bis friend's 
attention to a neighbouring height, crowned with those 
glorious pine-trees so peculiar to Rome, expressing a wish 
to reach the spot on which they grew, and they found 
themselves in the Pamphili Doria gardens. 

It was about the middle of April ; some gentle showers 
had fallen in the early part of the day, as if to refresh the 
verdure, and bring forth a thousand balmy odours. Who 
has ever visited Rome without lingering with delight in 
the shades of Pamphili Doria? There the pine-trees 
reign supreme in their melancholy ; the Parma violets 
grow wild ; and the grass is peculiarly enamelled at this 
season with anemones ; — in short, there is a wild romance 
about these haunts that well becomes the Eternal City. 

Clarence Russell proposed to rest awhile on the marble 
steps of a beautiful fountain, admirably situated under a 
natural arch of noble trees, and where a cascade seemed 
to pour forth showers of diamonds, its waters sparkling 
under the bright rays of an Italian sun. De Querancy 



'^'^^■'r 




THE GUARDIAN ANGEL. 233 

approached this fountain slowly, his eyes fixed on the 
ground. Unhappy man ! Blindfold he could ha'/e led the 
way. On the last step thei'C was a guitar, with a white 
ribbon attached to it. Clarence Russell, passionately fond 
of music, snatched it up, and began singing that well- 
known Neapolitan melody — 

" Ah, che soffrir mi resta !"* 

Often and often had De Querancy hea"d that air sung 
in various salons in Europe ; but when at this moment, 
and on this spot, it bvirst upon his ear, all the long pent- 
up emotions of anguish broke forth, and, gasping for 
breath, he hid his face in his hands, and wept like a child ! 

Clarence, startled and amazed, ceased singing, and 
placing his hand on his friend's shoulder, exclaimed, 
" Good God ! my dear Arthur, what can move you thus ? 
Far be it from me to surprise a confidence from any one ; 
but I have more than once felt the relief which springs 
from sympathy and friendship. Say, Arthur, shall I leave 
you alone, or will you confide your grief to one who has 
long watched, with affectionate anxiety, the settled sadness 
which pervades your every action ?" 

"■Clarence," replied Arthur, "well do I know your 
frank and manly character, and that a mind like yours 
will pity rather than ridicule my weakness. I will, there- 
fore, as you desire it, try to give you an insight into my 
chequered life, nor attempt to palliate the faults and errors 
which have tended to cast an irreparable blight over my 
whole existence." 

Clarence warmly pressed his friend's hand, and Arthui 
began : — "My father perished on the scaffold during the 
fury of the Revolution, a martyr to his religious and politica. 

* Written by Prince Pignatelli, the niglit previons to his execution. 



231 EVKXINGS AT J ADDON HALL. 

creed. lie left an inconsoliiblc widow, wholly devoted to 
his memory, and who clung to life only to fulfil his dying 
injunction to educate me, their only child, in those loyal 
sentiments for which he had died. All my nearest rela- 
tions trod the same path of duty, serving the cause of 
legitimacy to the last, either in the wars of La Vendee, or 
in upholding their followers while struggling in manifold 
ways against those monsters of iniquity who have cast an 
eternal blot on the fair pages of French history. To 
these fatal remembrances, and also to the wild Breton 
legends — to which I listened in childhood with pleasing 
dread — do I trace that melancholy so unusual to my 
coimtrymen, which, even in those times, affected my mind. 
How shall I describe to you all the tenderness of my 
mother — that best of women — who, during the emigra- 
tion, denied herself every extra comfort to bestow on me 
an enlightened education, and grant me every indulgence 
mv young mind could anticipate ? 

" On the restoration of the Bourbons, we left Bath, 
the retreat chosen by my mother during our exile from 
France, and returned to the home of my ancestors — an 
old French chateau, near Nantes. I became naturally 
anxious to see something of the world, but delayed ex- 
pressing my earnest wishes from filial piety to that revered 
parent, who rested her whole happiness in me. My 
fortune being nowise proportioned to the nobility of my 
birth, the army or the navy were the careers I sighed for ; 
but when I merely glanced at these projects, a pang of 
anguish disturbed the sweet serenity of my mother's still 
handsome countenance. 'I had anxiously prayed, my 
Arthur,' she exclaimed, ' that you might not choose the 
military career, for it has been ever fatal to all of your name. 
Think not, mv son, that I thus oppose your wishes to 



I 



THE GUARDIAN ANGEL. 235 

satisfy my selfish love ; I feel that the dull life you lead 
in these remote parts is unfit for one of your character 
and age. I only wish to aid your choice. Few careers 
are more promising than diplomacy; and I have some 
interest at the present moment with our ambassador at 
Rome, who is one of 5'our lamented father's oldest friends. 
I should be proud to see you introduced into society under 
his tutelar care. He was ever my type of all that wins 
and commands respect in the aristocracy. Most truly did 
Madame de Sta'el describe the Due de L. M. as " the first 
gentleman of France." ' 

"1 renounced, with much regret, my military plans, 
but felt amply compensated in sacrificing my wishes to 
those of this admirable mother. To an Englishman, this 
entire submission to a parent may appear overstrained; 
for, on reaching manhood, your first impulse is total 
emancipation from home, and the shackles of womanly 
influence. With us, the holy ties of gratitude bind us all 
our lives to the will of her who gave us birth. Hence the 
great moral influence women exercise throughout France. 
To woman^s gentle sway may be attributed the intimacy 
kept up through life in French families, which you have 
often pronounced so patriarchal, while you lamented that 
it was rarely, if ever, to be found in England. 

" On my coming of age, my mother wrote to ask the 
Due de L. ]\I. to have me appointed to the French embassy 
at Rome; and by return of post he answered, with his 
usual gracious kindness, that the sou of his ever-lamented 
friend should find in him a second father. 

" 1 think it worth mentioning a strange incident, which 
happened the day before I left home — unheeded at the 
time, but whicli has since proved a foreshadowing of my 
future fate. 

" Among our tenants was an old peasant, called Dame 



23G EVtNIXfiS AT IIADUON HALL.. 

Maricuerite, supposed by tlic surroundinjr peasantry, wlio, 
ai Brittany, are most superstitious, to have the gift of 
second sight. She was grandniotlicr to my nurse, liad 
received a superior sort of education for her rank in her 
life, and had often attracted me in childhood by her love 
of fairy stories. I always entertained a kindly feeling 
towards the aged sybil, so I turned into her cottage to 
take leave of her ; and remembering the supernatural 
gifts attributed to her, (though incredulous to their re- 
ality,) begged Dame Marguerite to tell me my fortune, 
and held out my hand to her, that she might peruse the 
lines therein, according to custom. 

" The aged woman gazed on me long and sorrowfully ; 
then bid me remain in ignorance, * For,' added she, in her 
wonted figurative mode of expression, * the traveller should 
set forth with a light heart, not to faint on the way.' 

" I then insisted on her explaining the mysterious 
sense of her allusion. 

" ' AYoe to me,' said Dame ]\Iarguerite, in her low but 
impressive voice, 'for I look on the last scion of the time- 
honoured house of Querancy ! To you, also, the month 
of April will be fatal ! Shun women and music' 

" I chid my venerable soothsayer for her evil omens. 
The warning concerning April was natural enough, for in 
that month my father was guillotined ; but as to the two 
latter prohibitions, I told Dame Marguerite that without 
them life was little worth. 

" I never mentioned this anecdote to my mother, who 
behaved on this trying occasion — her first separation for 
a lengthened period from me — with her wonted fortitude; 
not a miirmur escaped her lips ; but to offer up prayers in 
her lonely retreat for her child's happiness, was hence- 
forth her sole vocation on earth. 

"I arrived at Koine on the 20th of Apr'l, 1817. Il 



THE GUARDIAN AXGEL. 237 

was the residence of all others most suited to my pursuits, 
for I was born an innate artist. The embassy was a home 
to me in every sense ; the general society delightful ; but 
ere long, one house became my chosen resort in preference 
to all others. This was the Villa Manno, the residence of 
Uberto I\lanno, the most remarkable person in Rome at 
that epoch. 

"This eminent artist— Roman by birth, painter by 
profession — was the honoured guest of the great and the 
talented of all countries. The tine arts were hereditary in 
his family. Uberto Manno's racy wit and pungent satire 
charmed alike his friends and terrified his enemies ; his 
rapid conceptions, and graphic pencil, raised him to a 
proud eminence among his brother artists. To these he 
was courteous and generous in the extreme, his purse and 
advice ever liberally given ; but to the great and noble he 
could, at times, assume a haughtiness of demeanour which 
became well his democratic principles, if their talents or 
conduct equalled not their worldly advantages. All the 
softer shades of Jlanno's character shone forth in his 
intense love for his only child, Virginia ; her mother had 
died in giving her birth. It is well-nigh impossible to do 
justice to the endearing charms of this angehc being. Her 
features were pure as those of the first blonde virgins of 
Raphael ; her figure light ; her step elastic as a sylphid's ; 
her long swan-like throat inclined rather forward, as if the 
gentle maiden bent under the constant admiration she 
called forth from each passing observer. To Uberto's 
deep regret, she possessed not the family talent of paint- 
ing, but her talents for music were surpassingly great. 
When at the piano, singing hymns to the Virgin, she 
seemed the personification of a St. Ceciha ; and yet was 
most touching when singing to the guitar that same air 



238 EVENINGS AT HADDON HALL. 

vvliich SO powerfully affected me just now. — A ravishing 
mixture of saint and of sylphid ; sometimes she looked too 
ideal-like for human love; and then, the moment after, 
would enchant one by dancing the saltarella in the Roman 
costume, with the buoyant joyfulness so peculiar to her 
sweet self. 

" At the end of ^lay, Rome is quite deserted, for the 
malaria reigns in all its loathsome vigour, and few care to 
brave this infectious malady ; for me, spell-bound by the 
attractions of the ]Manno villa, I remained the v.hole sum- 
mer. Too brief were the hours, the days, I passed with 
Uberto Manno and his daughter, devoted to the cultivation 
of the arts, and under all the illusions of a first love. 
How often, during the great heats, have we sat on these 
very steps, sketching, or reading the great poets of France 
and Italy alternately aloud, or listening to Virginia's 
seraph voice, accompanied by her favourite guitar ! The 
only alloy to the rapturous existence I enjoyed, was the 
remembrance of all my mother's inveterate prejudices to 
my marrying one beneath me in birth ; this prevented me 
at once telling my hopes and fears to Uberto, for I dared 
to hope that my presence was not indifferent to his fair 
daughter. Also, I had heard the painter declare that he 
would never consent to Virginia's marrying out of her own 
sphere ; and I had reason to know that more than one 
Italian noble had vainly tried to win her hand ; but, full 
of sanguine hope, the best dower of the young, I thought 
time and constancy would level every obstacle, when a new 
addition to Manno's family circle changed its aspect 
entirely. 

" The new comer was Ubcrto's nejdiew, Antonio Carelli. 
He was an orphan adoj)ted by Manno, and his most pro- 
misina; scholar. His uncle had often mentioned his talents 



THE GUARDIAN ANGEL. 239 

With pride, so I was fully prepared to regard him as a 
friend; but at our first interview, after one keen glance of 
his fiery eye round our daily group, I felt we were hence- 
forth rivals and enemies. Antonio was an ardent repub- 
lican, impetuous in every impulse. As a Frenchman, he 
hated me ; as a rival, he defied me in his inward soul ! 
Madly jealous of the admission of a stranger into his 
cousin's intimacy, whom he loved with all the fiery passion 
of a southern, he was ever on the watch, by means fair or 
foul, to find an opportunity to exclude me from a society 
so replete with bliss to us both. 

" Virginia was of too soft a nature to repulse any one, 
still less Antonio, whom she had regarded as a brother 
from her cradle. She submitted, with gentle patience, to 
the insolent sarcasms, and various inuendoes he daily 
poured into her ear, and would, when I was tasked by the 
young Italian beyond endurance, turn on me her dove- 
like eyes, as if to implore forbearance for her sake. 

" Fluctuating between my growing attachment to Vir- 
ginia and the certainty of my mother's displeasure, I con- 
tinued undecided how to shape my course, and felt truly 
miserable. One morning, on entering Uberto's studio, 
Virginia passed by me rapidly, but I had time to see that 
she w'as much agitated, and in tears. I found her father, 
brush in hand, pacing the room in a di.sordered manner, 
and speaking with vehemence to Antonic> Carelli, who, on 
my appearance, left the studio, but cast on me, meanwhile, 
a withering look of hatred and triumph. 

" ' Marquis de Querancy,' exclaimed Uberto Manno, 
fixing on me his eagle eye, as if to r(;ad my inmost 
thoughts, ' you behold in me a most imhappy parent ! 
For the first time my child dares to disobey me, in oppos- 
ing herself to the fond scheme of my life, to see her united 



240 EVK'IXGS AT IIADDON HALL. 

to Antonio Carelli, my best and most promising scholar 
that my works, my family relics, might be bequeathed t<i 
the two dearest objects I have on earth.' 

" I was stmined with this unforeseen disclosure. On 
recovering myself, my first impulse was intense joy at 
Virginia's open repugnance to a union with her cousin ; 
and forgetting all things in my love for her, I would have 
implored her father to bestow her hand on me, as the 
dearest boon life could afford, but I detected a lurking 
sneer on Uberto's lips, as he awaited my answer. I fan- 
cied, that, instigated by my wily rival, Uberto only sought 
to provoke the offer of my hand and fortunes, to reject 
both with scorn. Ancestral pride resumed its sway, and 
hiding my deep emotion, I merely uttered some common- 
place phrases about offering my best wishes for his and his 
daughter's happiness. I left the Vdla ]\Ianno for the first 
time dejected, resolving to absent myself from it for a 
time, and yet watch, unseen, if Virginia became too easily 
amenable to her father's wishes. An excellent opportunity 
occurred to me to follow up this plan, and give the irri- 
tated artist time to cool over his first resentment at my 
thus crossing his favourite scheme. 

" My mother wrote to me at this time, to desire me to 
enact the part of cicerone to the noble family of Be Gos- 
son, neighbours of ours in Brittany. As winter was fast 
approaching, they proposed to me to devote the last days 
of autumn in visiting the most celebrated spots in the 
environs of Rome, such as Albano, Tivoli, &c. I agreed 
wdlingly, for I sought distraction of any kind, and was 
pleased at having social duties forced upon me. 

" In the De Gossons' society I met, for the first time, 
the beautiful Countess Zamoysky, a Pole. And here I 
must dwell at some length on this woman, who, by her 



THE GUARDIAN ANGEL. 241 

dazzling beauty and treacherous arts, exerted such a fatal 
influence in separating me for ever from tlip only woman 
I truly loved. 

" Painters have vainly tried to reproduce the perfect 
loveliness of Madame Zamoysky's features. Her glorious 
black eyes ; her luxuriant dark hair, braided on her high 
and intellectual foi'ehead ; the perfect oval of her face ; 
the rich tints of her complexion, are to be found onlv in 
Raphael's Madonna della Seggiola,* or in Domenichino's 
Sybil in the Capitol; then her figure was like the Diant; 
Chasseresse, so truly proud and commanding in every 
aspect — in every gesture. She was the admired of all, 
but loved by none. Public report described her as accept- 
ing universal homage as her due ; but perfectly passion- 
less, and of spotless reputation, though united to a man 
much her senior in years, and wholly unworthy of her. 
The Count Zamoysky was a mean, cringing courtier, 
making poor attempts at wit, and gladly sheltering his 
nonentity under the shadow of his wife's celebrity, to fre- 
quent every house open to society, where otherwise he 
would have been voted an intolerable bore. 

" A young Russian princ" at the time insinuated to 
me, that the lovely Pole had more than once taken plea- 
sure in drawing on young and inexperienced men, to study 
the intensity of their youthful adoration for her charms, 
and when they dared to claim the reward due to their 
devotion, rejected them with scorn and derision ; but this 
I listened to ds the calumny that too often attacks women 
of superior beauty, shielded by equal virtue. ]\Iy own 
heart filled with the image of Virginia, I feared not tci 
indulge in all the gratification I derived from ]\Iadame 
Zamoysky's various talents and fascinatnig manners. 

* At the Palais Pitti, in Florence. 



2i2 F.VCMNGS AT IIADDON HALL. 

" Towards the winter, foreigners began to pour into 
Home from all sides. The carnival promised to be un- 
usually brilliant; and at every fete IMadanie Zanioysky 
was the magnet of attraction — the cynosure of all eyes. 

" She attended regularly Uberto Manno's IMonday 
evenings, where the fair Virginia presided, and did the 
honours of her father's house with matchless grace. These 
soirees were delightful, for there, mixed with the most 
eminent artists of all countries, was to be seen, in turn, 
each illustrious traveller passing through Rome. In re- 
turn, Uberto Manno and his daughter were invited to all 
the embassies and best houses then open in Rome. The 
painter accepted these invitations, not from a wish to soar 
above his equals in rank, but as a tribute paid to the 
divine art, of which he was the most ardent votary. 

" On my return from our excursions in the environs, I 
remarked, in my morning visits to Uberto, that Virginia 
was no longer to be seen in his studio ; so I was obliged 
to defer, till the next Monday evening, my purpose of 
learning, from her own lips, her reasons for rejecting 
Carclli's love. Her answer, I was resolved, should decide 
my future course. Dancing and music were equally re- 
sorted to at Manno's soirees. During a waltz with Vir- 
ginia, I ventured to allude to her sorrow, which I had 
involuntarily witnessed, also her unusual absence from her 
father's studio ; and told her how painful both these cir- 
cumstances had been to me. A bright blush suffused her 
cheek, and her little hand trembled in mine, seeming to 
bid me hope my affection was returned, when Carelli sud- 
denly interrupted us by claiming Virginia's hand for the 
saltarella, just asked for at the express desire of Madame 
Zainoysky, who, leaning on the young painter's arm, said 
tihe would take no refusal. The whole assembly made way 



THE GUARDIAN AXGEL. 24^3 

in the centre of the room for the youthful couple, who 
performed then* native dance with grace and vivacity. 
Never did Virginia look to more advantage than on that 
night, dressed in virgin white, as was her invariable cus- 
tom, her beautiful blonde hair richly plaited round her 
head, her soft blue eyes downcast, as if unwilling to en- 
counter the general gaze of admiration her dancing called 
forth. 

" ' Does not Virginia remind you,^ said Madame Za 
moysky, ' of those graceful dancing figures on the Etruscan 
vases ?' Then, following my eyes, jealously riveted or 
Virginians every movement, she continued, ' How admi- 
rably they contrast at this moment ! Behold Carelli's 
manly figure, seeming to uphold the aerial nymph-like 
form which now clings to him for support — now turns 
away in aflfected coyness. What a pity,' added she, as if 
thinking aloud, ' that her mind is not as candid as her 
angelic countenance would seem to denote, and that, by an 
unpardonable spirit of coquetry, she persists in distressing 
her doting father and devoted lover.' 

" I asked, abruptly, if their engagement had been long 
known ? 

" ' When I was here last winter,' answered Madame 
Zamoysky, ' Carelli, who is a great protege of mine, in- 
formed me of their mutual attachment, and that their youth 
alone retarded their marriage. But he now tells me, that 
on his late return from Russia, he found Virginia altered, 
and capricious in the extreme ; but he knows that it is 
only to put his love to the test, for that her heart is his, 
and his only.' 

" Knowing that she must soon hear it from others, 
I frankly avowed to jMadame Zamoysky my unabated love 
for Virginia, assuring her, at the same time, how totally 



241 EVENINGS AT IIADDON HALL. 

unconscious I was till now of her previous attachment tc 
ner cousin. 

" I left Manno's house without attempting to resume 
my broken conversation with Virginia, for the mere sus- 
picion of her having trifled with my feelings wounded me 
to the soul ; and besides, Carclli never left her side for the 
rest of the evening. 

" The next day, when I calmly reflected on the past, 1 
called reason to my aid, and ended in convincing myself 
that, to my sorrow, I had mistaken Virginia's endearing 
sweetness of countenance and manners for a warmer feel- 
ing. I could not bear to suppose so guileless a being 
could voluntarily inflict the pangs I felt. ; then I thought 
on Carclli, and pride came to my aid. Was I, the son of 
one of the noblest houses in Brittany, to dispute Virginia's 
heart, inch by inch, with a low-born artist, and by so doing 
incur the lasting displeasure of my beloved mother ? No 
— never ! I would strive to forget Virginia, whose greatest 
charm, in my eyes, was gone, for I had hoped to win 
a virgin heart. I thought, with gratified pride, on the 
unfeigned sympathy shown me by Madame Zamoysky, 
and sought her society more than ever. How it humbles 
/ne, Clarence, to show myself to you, whom I so honour 
and esteem, in such a despicable light ! Yet such was my 
miserable infatuation for Madame Zamoysky, that it hur- 
ried me on, step by step, to the renouncing of a pearl 
without price — to be ensnared by the specious wiles of 
one, who, like the ignis fatuus, beguiles the benighted 
traveller but to lead him to destruction. 

" One of Madame Zamoysky's greatest attractions in 
my eyes, was the respectful admiration she testified for 
my mother, from the various details she had learnt from 
the De Gossons. How she won me by dwelling with 



THE GUARDIAN ANGEL. 24.1 

e.oquence on the sorrow the disparaging union of her 
only son would give her ! Then, if iu our walks to the 
galleries^ or during our musical repetitions, the theme of 
love was mentioned, how glowing were her thoughts on 
that subject, how touchingly she would deplore the misery 
of conjugal life unblessed by mutual sympathies! At 
such moments as these, I thought her the most interest- 
ing of her sex, and felt proudly happy that this lovely 
woman should thus single me out from the crowd of 
admirers watching for a smile, to impart to me alone her 
hidden sorrows, ever carefully veiled from the public eye 
by a haughty reserve. 

" The v/inter passed most rapidly. I now no longer 
frequented the Villa ]\Ianno in the morning ; and when I 
met Virginia, which was but seldom, at the diflferent balls 
and parties, her manner was frigidly cold. A bare recog- 
nition passed between us. This I ascribed to her entire 
return of Carelli's affection. 

" One evening, at Madame Zamoysky's house, tableaux 
wert. proposed. The most successful were, Virginia as a 
A^irgin of Carlo Dolci, and the Countess Zamoysky as the 
Sybil of Domenichino. This latter tableau caused enthu- 
siastic admiration. Manno and Carelli were the director? 
of the whole. When the tableaux were over, Carelli ap 
proached Madame Zamoysky, exclaiming with transport-^ 
' You were indeed an object to bow down before and wor- 
ship, as the ideal of beauty, and a new source of inspiration 
to us artists ! ' 

" Indignant at the presumption of the young artist 
thus openly expressing his admiration to the fair Countess, 
I drew her arm through mine, and left the spot where 
Carelli stood. 

" ' You are w^rong, Querancy,' said she, as if reading 



246 EVENINGS AT IIAUUON HALL. 

my thoughts, ' to bhime us women for listening graciously 
to the artists' praise. Their homage is sincere — solely 
prompted by the love of their art ; and then/ added she, 
in a soft murmur, ' I do feel a grateful triumph, if, for one 
night only, the Sybil has effaced the Virgin.' 

" I gazed on the fair Countess at these words ; and, as 
she stood, her lustrous eyes raised towards mine in all 
their radiant beauty, I must have been more than human 
not to yield to the rapturous triumph of that hour. I led 
her out on the moonlit terrace, and, for the first time, 
breathed words of passionate love into her ear. She lis- 
tened, and checked me not, and I thought a tear fell on 
my hand. When I paused for an answer, she recovered 
her usual composure, and told me that another time she 
would chide me for my folly, but in so bewitching a man- 
ner that I could have wished to be reproved for ever by so 
lovely a monitress. Her husband called her in, to speak 
to some guest w-ho was leaving the assembly, and thus w'e 
parted for several days. 

" I called repeatedly at her house, but was invariably 
answered that the Countess was too indisposed to receive. 

" During this interval, I had a conversation with 
Uberto Manno, which stung me to the quick. Latterly, 
he had resumed, whenever we met, his old familiarity — 
doubtless, no longer finding in me an obstacle to his 
matrimonial plans for his daughter. IMadame Zamoysky 
was the subject of conversation among the visitors present. 
On leaving the house where we had met, he followed me 
to the door, and, in a whisper, complimented me on the 
miracle I had effected, in touching the heart of one as 
dazzling in her beauty as she had been hitherto invul- 
nerable in her virtue. I writhed under the hidden satire 
of the father of Virginia, and this within the hearing of 



THE OUARDIAX ANGEL. -ii/ 

Carelli. A fearful doubt flashed across my mind. Vvas I, 
too, to be one of the many dupes formerly alluded to by a 
friend ? I resolved to demand an interview of Madame 
Zamoysky, and probe her very heart. I wrote, accord- 
ingly, a most emphatic letter, imploring her, if I had not 
loved in vain, to wear, on the following Tuesday, a nosegay 
of white camelias, which I should offer to her on that day. 
Should she not grant my supplication, I resolved instantly 
to leave Rome, and endeavour to forget one who had led 
me to believe that my fondest hopes were about to be 
realized. 

" I named Tuesday, for that day had been proposed 
previously by Madame Zamoysky, as a sort of farewell 
party to her immediate circle of friends in Rome. The 
remaining days that preceded the one so fraught with in- 
terest to me were spent in a state of feverish excitement ; 
my whole destiny seemed, by the agony of suspense I en^ 
dured, to be summed up in that one day. 

" Tuesday at length arrived, and a more beautiful day 
never gladdened the opening spring. Though early in 
April, the weather was warm enough to allow the repast 
to be laid out on the grass, just within sight of this spot 
where we now sit. All the details of the pic-nic were or- 
ganized by the Count Zamoysky, who, in such matters, 
enjoyed an undisputed supremacy. 

" I watched, meanwhile, with torturing anxiety, each 
carriage that arrived, till the object of my solicitude, 
Madame Zamoysky, appeared in her all-surpassing loveli- 
ness, carrying in her hand the nosegay of camelias already 
mentioned. When I approached, she received me with 
her brightest smiles, and allowed me to pick from her 
nosegay a bud, which I proudly wore near my heart for 
the rest of that eventful day. 



3-18 Evi;xi.\(;s at ii addon hall. 

" Never did this fair enchantress exert to greater ad- 
vantage her powers of cajjtivation. Judge of the rapture 
of my soul, to feel that all these blandishments were ex- 
erted for me, and me only. 

" The weather seemed to exhilarate the spirits of all 
present ; the women were beautiful, the men all animation. 
Additional zest was given to the pic-nic by the unlooked- 
for apparition of a band of strolling Hungarian gipsies in 
their fanciful costume ; and many youthful couples were 
to be seen eagerly inquiring from them of their future 
destiny. Only late in the afternoon, Uberto Manno and 
his daughter joined our party. CarelU hastened to her 
side, M'ith the tender eagerness of an affianced lover. A 
young Russian tenor had just been singing his national 
airs to the guitar, and a general wish was expressed tliat 
Virginia should favour us with a song. She appeared 
much distressed at the request, and said, she feared her 
voice would fail her. But Carelli besought her to try only 
one verse of ' Ah, che sofFrir ! ' which was ever her song of 
predilection. Was it my fancy ? As she turned to reply, 
her dark blue eyes met mine, and I thought I read in them 
reproach, and deep anguish. Her father hastily whis- 
pered to her, and instantly Virginia made an effort to sing. 
She murmured, rather than sung, the touching complaint 
of the Neapolitan poet ; but so heartfelt was the expres- 
sion she gave, that each breath was hushed to catch the 
low tones of her seraphic voice. She soon paused, and, 
with artless grace, begged of Madame Zamoysky to finish 
the verses, adding, that she would do more justice to the 
composition than was in her power to eff'ect. Then, com- 
jjlaining of the damp of the evening, she rose to return 
home, followed by her father and Carelli. 

'^ A fast ebbing tide of pure and happy rccoUectioni 



THE GUARDIAN ANGEL. 249 

rushed through my memory, as I watched that fah-y form 
vanish in the distance ; for I looked for the last time on 
her, who will be to me, while life lasts, ' the day-star of 
memory/ 

" The Countess Zamoysky roused me from my reverie 
by the impassioned fervour with which she sang. She 
electrified all present. Virginia was forgotten in the en- 
thusiasm of applause bestowed on the lovely vii'tuoso. 

" At that moment one of the gipsies renewed her 
whining importunities to tell me my fortune. A pang 
shot across my heart, for she made a long-forgotten chord 
vibrate in my memory — the predictions of Dame Marguerite, 
appai-ently about to be fulfilled. 

" Was not the month of April fatal to me and mine ? 
Was not my whole soul enslaved by woman^s charms — 
enhanced by music's softest strains ? 

" It had been agreed upon that the same party should 
meet again in the evening at Madame Zamoysky^s house. 
Manno and his daughter did not come, but Carelli did ; 
and I observed that he talked long and earnestly to the fair 
Countess. I vainly strove to speak to her a moment in 
private j though I had never witnessed her whole de- 
meanour more soft and yielding, still I fancied she avoided 
giving me an opportunity to speak to her alone. 

" I remembered that the Count Zamoysky was en- 
gaged to play whilst at the Russian embassy, and would 
certainly not return home before two in the morning. I 
therefore determined on creating an opportunity to solve 
all my doubts respecting Madame Zamoysky^s senti- 
ments. 

" At eleven, the company began to leave, and I 
feigned to leave also; but, thoroughly acquainted with 
every issue of the apartment, on finding myself alone in 



250 EVENINGS AT IIADDON HAI.L. 

the last drawing-room, I turned into a door on the left 
that led into the library, and which, I was aware, oj^ened 
into Madame Zamoysky's boudoir. The library was lit by 
a single lamp. I was just enabled to find my way to the 
window, where I hastily concealed myself behind the thick 
damask curtains, in the deep embrasure of the window 
common to old Roman palaces. From it I could watch 
unseen whatever passed in the great receiving room, the 
windows of which were exactly opposite, and left open on 
the terrace. Thus I should be enabled, on seeing the last 
guest depart, to emerge from my retreat, and obtain the 
interview I so ardently sought. 

" Soon after, I beheld the Countess alone ; she re- 
mained wrapt in thought for a short time, her beautiful 
head resting on her arm, supported by the piano. She 
then drew from her bosom a small note, and, on perusing 
the contents, an air of soft regret subdued the brilliancy 
of her dazzling beauty. Might it not have been my letter 
she was reading, and perhaps despising me for the timid 
diffidence that restrained me from pouring forth my vows 
of passionate love at her feet ? 

" She roused herself, and, tearing the letter with a 
haughty air that became her well, left the room. The 
lights were all extinguished; the clock struck twelve — 
each stroke resounded on my beating heart. I listened to 
the retiring steps of the servants — then all was silent. 

" I soon after heard distinctly the Countess's voice in 
the adjoining boudoir, dismissing her maid, and telling 
her that she would write till the Count's return home. 

" Then only I ventured to leave my retreat, when, to 
my utter consternation, T heard a carriage roll into the 
court, and :\Ionsieur Zamoysky's voice in the outer room, 
already described. Thus all retreat was cut off. He eu« 



THE GUARDIAN ANGEL. 251 

tered the library, giving me barely time to screen myself 
again from view, and in the perturbation of this crisis I 
upset a flower-stand, actually placed in the window where 
I stood. 

" Zamoyslcy, guided by the noise, walked straight up 
to the window, and tore the curtains open. His wife, 
equally attracted by the same noise, entered from her own 
door, and found me face to face with her husband ! 

" The Count demanded of me what was my purpose in 
being thus suspiciously concealed in the vicinity of his 
wife's apartment at this hour of the night, and if he was 
to conclude it was with her consent. 

" This demand gave Madame Zaraoysky time to re- 
cover herself ; and with admirable presence of mind, and 
all the dignity of offended virtue that conscious innocence 
ought alone to impart, she addressed herself to me, saying 
she defied me, by word or deed on her part, to exonerate 
myself from the outrage I had offered her, in thus invad- 
ing the sanctity of her privacy ; and then added, with 
galling irony, that it was a well-known weakness of Mon- 
sieur de Querancy's, to imagine his love acceptable where 
it was wholly unrequited. She then implored of Monsieur 
Zamoysky to forgive my youthful presumption, more to be 
pitied than resented, and retired into her apartment. 

" While she still spoke, the veil which had hitherto 
obscured my blinded intellect had fallen for ever ! Her 
beauty seemed to me abhorrent, since it was but the 
mask of a soul stained with perfidy of the darkest dye. 
That voice, which a few hours before I had compared to a 
syren's, sounded harsh and discordant, from the utterance 
of premeditated falsehood. 

" Powerless — for there is no vengeance to be TATcaked 
on a woman — maddened, and reckless, life appeared to 



2r>2 



EVEMNGS AT IIADDUN HALL 



nie ar. intolerable burthen. Gladly would I have offered 
a defenceless breast to the weapon of an injured husband. 
Animated by this feeling:, I scorned all subterfut^e, and 
declared to the Count Zamoysky that 1 came there re- 
soh ed not to leave an art untried to seduce his wife from 
the path of conjugal duty, and therefore awaited his 
wishes, to give every satisfaction to his offended honour. 

" He sternly interrupted me by saying, ' Is it not 
enough, sir, that your audacious presumj)tion has exposed 
a blameless wife to the comments of my servants, without 
incurring further publicity and scandal to her fair fame 
by a duel ? Her wishes are ever my law. I merely re- 
quest your absence from Home for a time, and trust, for 
the future, you will refrain from measuring a virtuous 
woman's high sense of duty by the laxity of yours ! ' 

" Struck dumb by such an odious combination of 
treachery and meanness, I fled from the house, like one 
pursued by avenging furies. I returned to the embassy, 
and, late as it was, demanded an audience of the Due 
de L. M. After briefly relating my miserable discom- 
fiture, I appealed to his paternal kindness to help me to 
leave this now hateful city, and, if possible, enable me to 
hide my cruel disappointments by some far distant 
diplomatic appointment. 

"The Due de L. M. soothed my youthful anguish 
with fatherly kindness, then wrote on the moment a letter 
to the minister of foreign affairs, in Paris, begging of him 
to forward my wishes. This done, I ordered post-horses, 
and before daylight was on my way to France. 

" Bitter were the reflections that tormented me on my 
cheerless road home, which same road, but a year before, 
I had travelled buoyant with the exhilarating visions of 
early youth. But the deepest sorrow I felt was, to have 



THE GUARDIAN ANGKL. 253 

become an object of contempt to Virginia, and ridicule to 
the sarcastic Uberto Manno. 

" Fortune favoured me so far, that I was enabled to 
effect an exchange with a brother diplomate, who was to 
have started within a few days for Rio Janeiro, but who 
gladly consented to take my vacant post at Rome. 

" I had but one day to devote to my poor mother. 
Our meeting was a sad one, for she was painfully alarmed 
by the alteration of my whole appearance. In reply to 
her tender inquiries, I merely glanced at an unfortunate 
attachment to one already engaged; for I cared not to 
sully her pure mind by the fulsome tale of Madame 
Zamoysky's heartless coquetry; nor until this day have 
these details ever passed my lips. My mother saw me so 
firmly bent on trying to divert my cares by total change 
of scene, that she encouraged the idea ; and thus I left my 
home for the second time, and joined at I'Orient a schooner 
bound for America. 

" I spent nearly two years in the Brazils. When free 
from my diplomatic duties, I made long excursions into 
the interior parts, and occupied myself principally with 
botanical researches, for w^hich I have a decided taste. I 
loved to explore those sublime solitudes, and reflect on the 
overthrow of such mighty empires to fulfil the inscrutable 
deci'ees of Providence ! Among these great wrecks of the 
past, I tried to forget my pigmy sorrows, and sought 
oblivion of the hard lesson taught my w^ounded heart by 
the hollow arts of European civilisation. 

" Towards the second spring of my stay in the Brazils, 
I joined a large party of travellers bound to the northern 
parts. On the third day after our departure from Rio 
Janeiro, my attention was arrested by an Italian artist 
relating the consternation he had witnessed at Rome, 



254- liVLNlXGS AT EADDON HALL. 

occasioned by the suicide of a most promising young 
brother artist, Antonio Carelli. Inexpressibly shocked at 
this news, I eagerly asked the Italian for further details. 

" * It appears,' he rej)licd, ' that at the last exposition of 
modern paintings in Rome, his picture of * The Guardian 
Angel ' was pronounced unanimously to be the finest pro- 
duction of the times. It created tenfold interest from the 
well-known fact, that his source of inspiration was his 
affianced bride, the lovely Virginia Manno. Favoured in 
love and by the arts, his rash act of self-destruction will 
ever remain a mystery. The day after his triumph, he 
was found dead in his studio ! His unhappy cousin, over- 
come by this fatal blow, has retired for a time, to give 
vent to her grief, in the convent on jMonte Pincio, at 
Rome.' 

" What a succession of thoughts and projects whirled 
through my brain on hearing of this unforeseen event ! 
But one idea was all absorbing — Virginia was again free; 
and my fii-st, my unforgotten love, might still be mine ! 
Carelli's untimely end led me to conclude that Virginia 
had not repaid his love. Like mc, might she not havt 
been the victim of Carelli's arts, prompted by the Countess 
Zamoysky ? 

" My resolution was soon taken ; once more restored 
to hope, all future obstacles seemed easy to overcome. lu- 
sted of prosecuting this journey, I would return to Europe 
by a ship which was to sail the following week. 

" I pleaded urgent lousiness to excuse my abrupt 
departure from my fellow-travellers; and having obtained 
astrong mule, resolved not to delay a moment till I could 
reach some public conveyance to take me back to Rio 
Janeiro. 

"The sky was dark and lowering; a low wind clearly 



THE GTTAIIDIAN ANGEL. 255 

indicated the coming storm. All my companions endea- 
voured to turn me from braving alone in the forests the 
coming tempest. Their friendly advice was lost on my 
unwilling ears. They knew not of the fair prize which 
would have tempted me to encounter far greater dangers. 
We parted company, and I rode on like one impelled by 
irresistible fate. The storm raged about me with teri'ific 
fury. My faltering mule, blinded by a vivid flash of 
forked lightning, came down on its knees, and threw me 
on some fragments of broken pillars, wdiere I lay a sense- 
less heap amid the fury of the elements. 

" I afterwards learnt that I was found by a Jew pedlar 
merchant returning to his home, a sort of place of way- 
fare to benighted travellers in those solitary parts. Like 
the good Samaritan, he picked me up, laid me across his 
mule, and conveyed me to his home. 

" On recovering my senses, my first question was to 
inquire the day of the month, on account of the vessel 
sailing for Europe. My host told me it was the first of 
April. I shuddered ; for again Dame Marguerite's warn- 
ings arose before me. I was seized with a burning fever, 
from the wet to which I had been exposed, and soon after 
became delirious, as I was afterwards told by this most 
hospitable Hebrew. I lay stretched on a bed of sickness 
for six weeks. ]\Iy host had a good deal of medical know- 
ledge, and to his care — but, above all, to my youth and 
vigorous constitution — I owed my recovery. 

"This deplorable accident retarded my return to 
Europe for four months ; at last, after an unfavourable 
passage, I landed at Havre. My first impulse was to ask 
for a newspaper; judge of my despair on reading, that 
the daughter of the celebrated Uberto INIanno had taken 
the irrevocable monastic vows, at the convent of the Monte 



S.jG evemncs at haddox hall. 

Pincio, at Rome. Had it not been for the cruel mischance 
that delayed my return, I might have been in time to 
dissuade Virginia from her fatal resolution. Bereft of my 
last hope of happiness on earth, I sought my mother's 
counsels. She recommended me more than ever to pursue 
my career. I obtained a special mission to the East, 
where I first met you, my valued friend. I have declined 
promotion, not to be tied to one particular spot ; and thus 
I intend to lead the life of a wanderer, tasting of every 
excitement in turn. But, alas ! to you I confide that ' the 
heart — the heart is lonely still ! ' Its last throb will be 
for the loved one immured for ever in yon dark convent 
walls!" 

The friends rose to leave the gardens, when, again 
attracted by the form and workmanship of the guitar, 
already mentioned, De Querancy examined it more closely, 
and observed engraved on it the initials "V. M., 1817." 

Struck by this mysterious coincidence, he proposed to 
Clarence to obtain, if possible, further information on the 
subject, by inquiring at the Villa Pamphili Doria to whom 
this instrument belonged. 

While he was speaking, a young girl ran up to them, 
claiming the guitar, saying, that she had been playing on 
it at the fountain, but having run home to attend her sick 
grandmother, she had been detained longer than she had 
expected. 

De Querancy asked her her name. She replied, " Vir- 
ginia Cecchini." On hearing this name, he bid her lead 
them at once to her relation — for such he remembered to 
have been the name of Virginia Manno's old nurse, whom 
she loved and regarded as a second mother. As they 
entered the room into which the young Italian introduced 
them, they found an elderly female spinning, evidently 



THE GUARDIAN ANGEL. 257 

suffering from the wasting effects of the malaria. On 
seeing De Querancy, Camilla Cecchini uttered an ex- 
clamation of surprise, not unmixed with pleasure. She 
greeted him as an old acquaintance, and said, " Ah, sig- 
nor, I little thought I should ever have had the honour of 
receiving yoii ! Sad, sad events have taken place since 
last we met ! " (And tears rolled down her face as she 
spoke.) " I see the purport of your visit,^^ she added, 
looking at the guitar De Querancy still held in his hand ; 
" you must have already recognised it as belonging once 
to my dear young mistress, and wonder, doubtless, how it 
came into my humble possession .•'' De Querancy bowed 
assent, and she spoke as follows : — 

" It was in 1818 that you left Rome, if I remember 
well. Soon aft^er that time, my poor child (as the Sig- 
norina Manno flowed me to call her) grew paler and 
more sorrowful eveiy day. We all concluded that this 
deep grief was caused by her father's immovable resolution 
to unite her to her cousin Antonio Carelli, who vainl} 
tried, by tenderness and violence in turn, to win her to 
listen to his love. She sought relief to her cares in the 
fulfilment of her pio-us and charitable duties, which ob- 
tained for her the touching surname of ' the Guardian 
Angel.' It was this inspired her lover with his chef- 
d'ceuvre — since his death given to the nuns of IMonte 
Pincio. My dear mistress's only solace was to sit for 
hours alone in her room, singing to the guitar. One even- 
ing she was thus employed, singing her favourite air, 

' Ah, clie soffrir mi resta ! ' 

when Carelli surprised her, and I heard him in bitter tones 
reproach her for her inexorable cruelty to him, and un- 
availing regrets for the worthless stranger. 



258 EVENINGS AT II ADDON UALL. 

" For the ouly time in her life, I believe, V^irgiuia was 
roused to auger. She told him, with dignity, that it was 
imgencrous to jjersecute one who had never for a moment 
deceived him ; that solely from obedience to her lather she 
would accompany him to the altar, since he persisted in 
claiming an unwilling bride. ' Heartless one ! ' he ex- 
claimed, 'then be the results of this declaration on your 
head ! ' And he rushed from her presence. A few hours 
afterwards he committed the dark deed which has con- 
signed his family to eternal sorrow. 

" My young mistress, on that day of dreadful memory, 
attended, as usual, morning mass at the Convent of Monte 
Pincio, where she was loved as a daughter by all the good 
nuns. When I told her the fatal catastrophe, she was 
horror-struck, and accused herself of being the cause of 
Carelli^s untimely end. Vainly I strove to console her; 
she bid me leave her, to find comfort in solitude and 
prayer, for she dared not return home and face her 
father's anguish ! She judged rightly. Uberto Manno 
declared he would never forgive her in the first ebullition 
of his fiery passion. This was, unfortunately, repeated to 
his gentle child; and, heart-broken with remorse, she 
dedicated herself to a holy life of penance, in the hopes of 
atoning for her involuntary share in her cousin's death. 
Too late, Uberto Manno demanded the return home of his 
only child. He was made aware of her vow ; he mourned, 
but dared not oppose it. After her taking the habit, he 
left Rome, and, I hear, seeks to forget the downfall of all 
his fondest hopes, in distant travels to the Eastern courts, 
where he is received with the royal hosi)itality due to his 
splendid talents. 

"The day before my dear child pronounced the irre- 
vocable vows, she called me into her cell, and holding to 



THE GUARDIAN ANGEL. 259 

me yon guitar, she said, ' My good Camilla, I love you as, 
a mother; therefore I wish to bequeath to you and yours 
a remembrance of me, and one of the things dearest to me 
on earth. Henceforth my voice shall only sing the praises 
of the Most High ! Nor,' added she, in a low whisper, 
' could I look on this guitar without my memory straying 
back to earthly remembrances far too tender. Teach, y 
Camilla, your granddaughter, and my godchild, to sing to 
it the songs I loved best.' And as a relic have I treasured 
ever since that guitar, w^hich, for the first time to-day, 
was taken out of my room by my grandchild to the 
fountain. 

" The Manno villa is now a deserted mansion. Though 
made independent for the rest of my days by the bounty 
of XJberto Manno, I consented to take charge of this villa, 
in the absence of the Prince Pamphili Doria, hoping to 
derive benefit to my health from its elevated situation.'" 

De Querancy thanked her warmly for all the details 
she had given, and rose to leave, when she beckoned bin: 
back, and whispered, " To-morrow is Easter Sunday ; she 
will sing at high mass !" 

The next morning Clarence went to St. Peter's, and 
De Querancy attended high mass at the chapel of the 
French convent of Monte Pincio. Strangers are admitted, 
for the nuns who sing are entirely concealed by a thick 
curtain, which screens them from public gaze. 

When the friends again met to proceed on their 
journey, De Querancy appeared wonderfully calm, and m 
the evening ol that day he voluntarily spoke of his sen- 
sations in the convent. "Wildly," said he, "did my 
heart beat, when the solemn silence of prayer was broken 
by the unforgotten seraphic voice of my lost Virginia ! 

" The subject chosen, sung in Latin, signified,, *• The 



260 EVENINGS AT 11 ADDON HALL. 

Lamb lias redeemed his sheep ; Chri.st, wlio was innocent, 
has reconciled sinners to his Father.' How render the 
convincing truth, the ineffable expression, the inspired 
singer gave to these sublime words ? She infused into all 
present the glad tidings of mercy and hope. For me, my 
head buried in my hands, I knelt motionless, drinking 
in each sound of that loved voice ! When high mass 
was over, I remained alone in the chapel, overwhelmed 
with an intense feeling of solitude ; it seemed as if I 
had enjoyed a foretaste of heaven, but to feel still more 
my exile on earth. As I once more raised my dejected 
head, the bright rays of the noonday sun attracted my 
eyes to a picture on the side of the chapel ; there I beheld 
Carelli's beautiful conception of the Guardian Angel. 
There stood Virginia, arrayed in Hovving robes of white ; 
her fair hair, as if gently supported by the wind, formed 
a crown of golden glories round her angelic head ; her 
azure eyes, beaming with a soft, but all-j)enetrating gaze, 
seemed to search the depths of my desponding soul ; 
whilst her parted lips, and hand raised towards heaven, 
indicated that permanent rest was only to be found there. 
The kneeling Christian, clinging to her gown, his dark 
brow resplendent with genius, yet marked by doubt and 
grief, was a most faithful portrait of the unfortunate 
Carelli. Long — long did I dwell on this sublime picture, 
and as I did so, a holy calm entered my troubled soul ; 
I felt invigorated with new and healthy ideas; I knelt 
before this image of spotless purity — touching victim of 
the unruly passions of men — and vowed to lead, hence- 
forth, a life more worthy of the love she had felt for me, 
by forgetting my own selfish sorrows iu helping to assuage 
tho3C of my fellow-creatures. 

" Before leaving the convent, I wrote to request of the 



THE GUARDIAN ANGEL. 261 

abbess to allow me to have a miniature copy of the chef 
d'cmvre in their possession, and begrged to offer a donation 
to the orphan asylum belonging to them. My two de- 
mands were graciously i-eceived. I thus learnt that sister 
Virginia had the orphan asylum under her special care ; 
she was described to me as a perfect saint on earth — so 
rigorous in her austerities, (though apparently delicate,) 
so indefatigable in her admirable charity to all. How my 
hand shook as I ^\TOte my name in the book, with the 
exact date, among the various benefactors of the convent. 
I breathed a fervent prayer that my name might be read, 
at some future time, by the ' saint-like' Virginia, and — oh, 
blessed thought! — she would, perchance, rejoice in her 
holy influence over me." 

The sequel of this touching narrative was made known 
to me by Clarence, after his friend the Marquis de Que- 
rancy's death, which occurred in 1832. 

" Great," said he, "was the change wrought in my 
noble friend the Marquis de Querancy, dating from the 
time of his visit to the convent of Monte Pincio. No 
longer yielding to that' mournful apathy which had so long 
lulled the bright faculties of his powerful understanding, 
he seemed upheld by some secret impulse, which led him 
onwards, unerringly, to every ennobling pursuit. 

" After having concluded most satisfactorily his diplo- 
matic mission to the court of Naples, he returned to Paris, 
and soon afterwards spoke, for the first time, in the Cham- 
ber of Peers. All present were filled with respectful ad- 
miration at the sentiments he professed on that occasion ; 
his unaffected piety, fervent patriotism, and extended views 
of benevolence, were worthy of the disciple of Chateau- 
briand, and portrayed with the vivid eloquence of !Berryer 



262 EVEMNns AT nAnnON HALL. 

" Frugally simple in his person and tastes, he devoted 
his fortune to every laudable purpose, and by his personal 
exertions improved inconceivably the country and peasantry 
surrounding his estates in Brittany. 

" One of the traits I admired most in my lamented 
friend was, that though ])erfectly insensible to the charms 
of the fairer sex, he never affected cynicism or contempt 
towards the follies of other young men, and thus won 
over more than one from the paths of vice, by the en- 
couraging example afforded by his own exemplary life. 

" In 1830, when the elder branch of the Bourbons 
were expelled from the throne of France, faithful to the 
political creed of his ancestors, he protested against and 
declined to serve the newly-elected King of the French ; 
and hoping for better times, he vowed unalterable fidelity 
to the youthful Henri de Bordeaux, that innocent victim 
of the faults of his forefathers. 

" In the year 1832, when the cholera raged so fear- 
fully in Paris, the Marquis de Querancy, who was there 
at the time, instead of flying the fatal contagion, thanked 
Heaven that he had found a vast arena, wherein to ex- 
ercise the all-engrossing charity which animated his whole 
being. 

" He is known to have emulated, and shared to the 
utmost extent, the untiring zeal and holy labours of the 
poorest Catholic priest at this dread era in the annals of 
human sufferings. Like them, filled with holy abnegation 
of self, he was ever to be found at the pallet of the plague- 
stricken ; his immense charity and heroic courage arc 
recorded but by the all-seeing eye of God. 

" At last, worn out and exhausted by mental and 
bodily fatigue, my poor friend was afflicted by a pul- 
monaxy complaint, which the faculty at once declared to 



THE GUARDIAN ANGEL. 263 

be beyond all human remedies. His mother came up to 
Paris to attend his dying moments, and I found her 
worthy of the tender veneration her son had always 
entertained for her. 

" Most grateful was I to be thus enabled to share, if 
not to alleviate, the sorrow of this heart- stricken mother. 

" On the evening of his death, De Querancy profited 
by his mother's absence from the sick-room to speak to 
me in private. 

" So emaciated was my poor friend by illness, that it 
would have been difficult to recognise in him the once so 
admired Arthur de Querancy. But a higher, holier beauty 
now adorned his head ; it was the calm serenity imparted 
by the high faith of the dying Christian, 

" ' Is it not singular, dear Clarence,' said he, ' that 
Dame Marguerite should have prophesied so true, for 
to-day is my birth-day, the 20th of April ! But I die 
most happy, for I have borne my cross,' said he, looking 
mournfully on the miniature of the Guardian Angel, 
which never left him. ' Think you not, Clarence, that 
I am now more worthy of the pure love of my Guardian 
Angel ?' 

" As he yet spoke, his mother approached the bed-side, 
and offered him the calming draught she had left him to 
prepare. 

" De Querancy bent gently forward to accept it, and 
in this dying effort breathed his last sigh on that fond 
maternal bosom, whence he had derived the first suste- 
nance of life." 



At the conclusion of the foregoing tale, a gentleman, 
in whose mien and bearini; there was somethina: which 



264 EVENINGS AT IIADDON llALL. 

bespoke the gallant profession to which his life had been 
devoted, and whose bronzed complexion showed evidently 
that he had stood the brunt of " the battle and the breeze," 
took uj) from the table at which he was sitting an exquisite 
design of a dismantled ship under severe stress of weather, 
and, addressing the Lady Eva, said, " If you will let me 
tell you a simple tale of the sea, of which this drawing 
reminds me, it may serve, rude though it be, to afford 
time for others to prepare something more worthy the 
occasion on which we are met together — an occasion which 
it would grieve me not to be allowed to assist in cele- 
brating." 

The offer was gladly greeted by Lady Eva and all the 
company, and the gallant veteran proceeded to relate 

THE NUBIAN SLAVE. 

" Mislike me not for my complexion ; 
I wear the shadowy livery of the sun, 
To whom I am near neighbour." 

Smaksi'eare. 

Over a parched and arid desert a train of captives 
painfully pursued their way. The air was heavy with 
intense heat. The sun, whose outline was obscured by 
the hazy atmosphere, seemed to communicate to the vast 
surface of heaven his own burning and blinding power. 
A pale and sickly hue of yellow coloured the whole scene. 
It gave to sky and desert the same scorched aspect, and 
from its universal and intolerable glare was infinitely more 
dreadful than the fierce brilliance of an unclouded noon. 
The sand, level, and to the eye boundless, had a hard and 
polished surface, which presented an image of frightful 



THE NUBIAN SLAVE. 265 

sterility. That saffron light cast no shadow on the earth. 
The fainting traveller looked in vain for the reflection of 
his form. There was no shade, no air. Around, below, 
above, heat was present, as if it were concentrated into a 
palpable substance, resting heavily on the head, weighing 
down the limbs, oppressing and suffocating perspiration. 

To rest was to perish. The captives, with languid 
steps and throbbing temples, moved on, animated by the 
prospect of moistening their parched lips, as the guide 
indicated that wells were at hand. " Water ! water ! '^ 
was repeated in many dialects of Africa, one desire, in a 
dozen languages, and by hundreds of voices, — " Water, 
water, or we die ! " 

Old Haloo, the chief of the band, whose life had been 
passed in the traffic of slaves, looked on the fainting throng, 
as if to calculate how much longer nature could support 
existence. He took a skin from his camel's back, drank 
himself, and wetted the mouth of the beast. His prisoners 
waited with expectation. " Oh, water,^' muttered he ; 
" if you want water, you must move more quickly." He 
menaced those who seemed most eager for relief with a 
heavy scourge. He was understood, and the unhappy 
beings endeavoured to quicken their pace. 

The train was numerous. Most of the captives were 
young, some mere children, others rising into youth, 
others approaching k sty maturity. Those who carried 
on the traffic in human life understood their trade. The 
young were sooner tamed and more docile to command. 
More died, it is true, but they cost little, either to take or 
to keep. They did not attempt to escape, so there was 
something saved in fetters. A ship would carry twice 
or thrice as many of them as of full-grown beings ; and if 
they were judiciously chosen, they sold well. 



26G EVENINGS AT HADDON HALL. 

In this band there were ahnost as many girls as lads 
and men. With few exceptions, all were uncontined. 
There was no fear of their attempting to escape upon the 
Desert. Their homes were hundreds of miles away. 
Around the neck of each was a bag, containing roasted 
maize. This was the sole provision for their journey. 
Each carried a supply for several days. They received 
water only at the appointed resting-places, which were 
often at the distance of a long and weary day^s travel. 
They were driven forward like a herd of cattle, kept from 
straying by natural instinct. When they approached a 
habitable country, they were bound together in gangs, to 
prevent any from deserting. In this mode they were 
hurried to the sea-shore, to be borne across the Atlantic, 
and commence their life of slavery. 

But now they thought not of the future. They had 
but one wish ; they believed that they should be happy if 
they could but satisfy the thirst which consumed them. 
Panting, and with swollen tongue protruding from the 
mouth, they pressed on, repeating the one word that ani- 
mated them to exertion. Some, unable to endure their 
agony longer, fell. They were left to perish on the burn- 
ing sand. In the Desert life was cheaper than water. 

The horrors of that day drew to a close at last. In 
the distance, the guides who had advanced were seen fill- 
ing skins and vessels from the well. A cry of joy resounded 
through the train. The single camel of the expedition 
stretched forth his long neck, and quickened his pace, 
while his large lips trembled with desire. As the resting- 
))lace was i-eachcd, the sun went down, and water and 
shade were attained together. The younger captives for- 
got everything in the exquisite sense of relief and delight 
they experienced. When their wants were relieved they 



THK NUBTAN SLAVE. 267 

were careless of the future, and sank to rest beneath the 
large palms, which, at the edge of the Desert, gave pro- 
mise of a more fruitful country. 

One man alone had performed that day's march with 
fetters to his wrists, and a thick rope attached to his 
ankles. He had been brought from a province of Nubia, 
where the White River watered the sultry plains, and tall 
mountains cast on them a grateful shade. A tribe of 
the Desert had invaded his village, burnt the dwellings 
to the ground, and made him prisoner. He had struggled 
desperately, but in vain ; though well had he maintained 
his reputation for courage, and justified the confidence 
reposed in him. Three of the savages fell by his hand ; 
at last, he was only overpowered by numbers. Bound 
hand and foot, he had been transferred from one tribe to 
another, till he formed part of the band destined for the 
sea-coast. This man was prized by Old Haloo, for his 
youth, large frame, and prodigious strength. No labour 
seemed to tire him, no punishment to subdue his spirit. 
He never complained. He took food and water when 
ofifered him, but he never asked for either, and, unlike the 
other captives, he disdained to carry provision for his 
journey. He was considered of too much value to be 
neglected, and so was supplied with sufficient nourishment 
to support life. He had more than once endeavoured to 
escape, and was now so fettered, that no struggles could 
avail him. At night, he was securely tied to several of the 
other prisoners. 

When the well was reached, this man had thrown him- 
self to the ground and closed his eyes. Water was 
paraded before him, but he did not heed it. He did 
not stretch forth his hand for one draught of that pre- 
cious fluid which the herd of captives sought so eagerly. 



268 EVENINGS AT IIADUON HALL. 

All were first served, and tlicii were taken to him a few 
drops of water, sufficient to support life, but not to quench 
thirst. This was gratuitous torture, for the clement wai^ 
now abundant. When the vessel was offered to him, lie 
struck it to the ground, and dealt a heavy blow to the 
slave who bore it. His outcries brought Old Haloo to the 
spot. He was enraged, but did not wish to lose the hun- 
dred dollars which he knew he should receive for so valu- 
able a prize on the coast, and a larger supply was brought. 
The Nubian drank it, and ate some grains of maize. He 
next received the punishment of the scourge, ordered him 
for his disobedience, without a word, and appeared easily 
to fall asleep. 

There are people who hold that the colour of the skin 
affects the rights of humanity. They hear of an African's 
stripes and chains with indifference, for he has thick lips 
and woolly hair. He is not of the Caucasian race ; per- 
haps, even, he may have little sense of physical pain. 
"Why should they care for agonies that cannot be told 
told in a civilized tongue ! Freedom was made for the 
white skin, slaveiy for the coloured. Thus is God's cre- 
ation abused. Never does he give life but for enjoyment. 
Man makes the existence of his fellow one scene of wretch- 
edness and torture. 

No one could pierce into the thoughts of the Nubian 
that night, or tell the pains of his body, the misery of his 
spirit. He lay still, but he did not rest. Sometimes a 
low groan escaped him, which he sought to suppress, as 
unworthy his fortitude. His bonds had fretted him, and 
now he could gain no relief from their pressure. To him, 
of all the band, that night brought no relief. He longed 
for the dawning of day, though with it his sufferings 
would re-commence ; the rest and silence of night lie 



TH£ UUlAiV SLAVE. 269 

found more intolerable than the toils and action of the 
day. 

In his village home some scattered light of Christian 
truth had reached him. He had gathered that one God 
reigned in heaven, and that love and justice were his attri- 
butes. Often were his fettered hands raised to the sky. 
Was his muttered prayer for deliverance, or for vengeance? 
He must have thought the answer long delayed. Yet it 
did not seem that hope deserted him. His fellow-captives 
sometimes saw him on his knees, and they attributed his 
surprising resolution and untiring strength to the super- 
natural aid he received in those moments from the Deity 
he worshipped. 

Twelve days more of privation and of fatigue to faint- 
ing, brought that band, in diminished numbers, to the 
shore. The discipline that tames the lion and the tiger — 
hunger and weariness — had made them obedient to the 
slightest gesture of their drivers. They were weak in 
body, but yet weaker in spirit. They humbly entered the 
boats, though the raging surf threatened their destruction, 
and were conveyed on board the vessel anchored in the 
distance. The Nubian went with the rest, for he was now 
incapable of resistance. If these poor creatures had any 
thought, they must have wondered for what end irons 
were riveted to their limbs, when they of themselves were 
almost incapable of moving them. They were stowed 
thickly in the hold, without light and without air. The 
slave-decks were ready, the schooner sank deep in the 
water with her cargo of flesh and blood, and the anchor 
was raised. 

Fair, but roughly, blew the- breeze. The vessel rose to 
the swell, and gallantly flew over the waters to the west. 
Night and day the ship rolled onwards, no pause in her 



270 EVENINGS AT H ADDON HALI. 

motion for an instant, no abatement of the heaving of the 
waters. Frightful wvve the groans and slirioks of the 
ca|)tives. " ^Tis no matter," said the captain ; " tliey are 
safe. No escape here." He was wrong. The escapes 
were numerous. Each morning the dead were separated 
from the Uving — not before. Those who were not on the 
watch, yet heard in their berths below the sullen plash in 
the waters which sounded the funeral knell of the victims. 

It was horrible to see the shoal of sharks which fol- 
lowed that ship. They seemed, like the rolling waters, to 
know no rest. They knew their prey was in that vessel, 
and they never forsook it. Often, in the day they were 
not seen. They knew their time, and they observed it 
regularly. Long before the sun rose, these monsters, in 
the earliest dawn of light, were observed moving on the 
surface of the water, oj)ening their huge jaws, springing 
over each other, touching the sides of the ship, as if they 
smelt their prey through the planks, and manifesting the 
most furious eagerness to obtain it. 

The captain was naturally more careless than cruel. 
When matters went well, he was good-humoured enough ; 
but when crossed, he lost all control over himself, and his 
bad ])assions blazed forth with irrcstrainable fury. In his 
wrath he was a perfect fiend. The slave-trade brought 
him wealth, and he was indifferent about the rest. There 
are many characters like his in the world, though not all 
are exposed to the same temptation, who suffer themselves 
to be guided by events, without a thought for the conse- 
quences. He had no interest in his cargo, but he felt a 
pride, as he expressed it, in landing it in good order. He 
had amassed wealth, for his schooner was a smart thing, 
and had distanced many an English cruiser. She had so 
good a look about her, too, that she was not often sus- 



1 



THE NUBIAN SLAVE. 271 

pectecl, and besides the traffic iu slaves, the captain did 
something in ivory, and other commodities. He was 
British born, and had been bred to the sea, but had 
lived a free life in the West Indies. For the last ten 
years he had said, " A few more trips, and I will give over 
this trade;" but the temptation was too strong for him. 
The profits of a run from Africa to the Brazils or Cuba 
were enormous, and he was so well known, and had so 
great a reputation for dexterity and success, that he had 
abundance of commissions offered him. No one, it was 
found, made the passage so quick, or brought home so full 
a cargo. As for the guilt of his occupation, that troubled 
not him. When his wife remonstrated, he shook a bag of 
gold in her ear. " Negroes, hey," said he, after a success- 
ful voj'age, " pooh, pooh ! My trade is in gold dust, 
nothing else." This man was as fond of his family as 
one of his rugged nature could be, and for his sole child, 
a gu'l, he hoarded the wealth made by his perilous and 
criminal voyages. 

His present cargo had been reduced in strength beyond 
the safe hmit. Their wretched confinement, coming im- 
mediately after their dreadful journey, had produced a 
malignant fever among them, and the mortality was so 
great that it seemed likely the captain would have but a 
scanty complement to laud. This soured his temper, and 
when some of the crew fell sick, and he had scarcely hands 
enough to work the vessel, he fretted like an enraged 
brute. He had but one consolation. The voyage pro- 
mised to be unusually rapid. He was bound for the 
Havannah, and though he had lost a third of the slaves 
on board, he congratulated himself on being within three 
or four- days' sail of port. A new mortification awaiteo 
him. 



272 VENINGS AT IIADUON HALL. 

The wiud changed, and with the change liis glass 
fell. He saw certain indications of stormy weather, and 
prepared to meet it, cursing the mischance which deprived 
him of half-a-dozen stout hands. Thick clouds gathered, 
but at night the wind went down with the sun. In the 
morning it increased to a gale, and, as if to complete his 
ill-luck, a fine brig was seen in the distance with the Union 
Jack flying at her mast-head. She was an English cruiser, 
that was quite clear ; and it was soon evident that she had 
suspicions of the schooner, and was crowding all sail the 
gale would allow her to carry in pursuit. The captain's 
mind was made up to run for it. He hoisted canvass till 
the schooner's mast groaned with the press, and adopted 
every resource of experienced seamanship to baffle his pur- 
suer. He resolutely disregarded all signals. He believed 
that he could hold his distance till night, and in the dark- 
ness he did not doubt he could escape. But it soon 
appeared that the cruiser was the better sailer, and that 
her commander, heavy as the gale was, did not fear to put 
her sailing qualities to the proof. By noon, the distance 
was greatly lessened, and the captain saw that the guns of 
his enemy would be brought to bear upon him long 
before night. 

His position was desperate, and he determined to try 
an expedient which he had more than once before found 
successful. A raft was rudely constructed of some spare 
spars ; to this were lashed half-a-dozen of the captives. 
Their entreaties were no more regarded than the whistling 
of the wind. As a wave advanced, the raft was lowered 
to its surface. The result was watched by the crew of the 
slaver with breathless suspense. The captain calculated 
rightly on the humanity of the English commander.* The 
height of the sea was disregarded — a boat was lowered 



THE NUBIAN SLAVE. 273 

from tlie brig; the chase was for a moment shghted^ in 
anxiety to save the wretched beings whom the waves 
threatened each instant to engulph. They were safely got 
on board, but not until the distance between the two 
vessels was perceptibly increased. Three several times was 
the same plan tried with the like success. At evening the 
schooner was still beyond the range of her pursuer's guns. 

Still the gale increased ; the sky was obscured by 
pitchy clouds, and the schooner plunged madly through 
the darkness. Tremendous squalls of wind and hail swept 
the decks ; one fearful sea, breaking over the bows, carried 
away part of her bulwarks. Every inch of canvass was 
taken in, but not before two seamen had been carried 
from the yards with the sail they were reefing. The long- 
swollen waves strained the vessel fearfully, as she scudded 
under bare poles. At one moment she rose on the crest 
of a mountain of water, and at the next plunged down into 
the black gulph which seemed yawning to swallow her up. 

It is a horrible thing when the bad passions of man 
mingle with the wrath of the elements — when the light- 
ning's flash is answered with a sharp curse, and the awful 
peal of thunder with a blaspheming laugh. So it was in 
that night of storm. The captain, infuriated by the events 
of the day, raved on the deck like a maniac. He stood 
by the helm with clenched teeth. In the darkness of 
night his eyes flashed fire. There was murder in every 
glance. 

Suddenly a wild uproar rose from below, a clanking of 
chains, and a rush against the slave-decks and bulk- 
headings, which made the stout timbers of the schooner 
quiver. The captives, feeble as they were, had become 
possessed with the strength of madness, as they felt the 
waters rising round them. The ship had sprung a leak. 



274 EVENINGS AT IIADDON HALL. 

and tlic sea rushed in through the gaping seam. Tlie 
desperate slaves, banded together, rushed against the par- 
titions which c(;nfined them, or trampling down the 
weakest, made a platform of their bodies, and beat their 
fetters against the decks above them. 

The seamen, worn out at the pumps, left them. The 
ship, tliey said, wanted lightening. 

The captain laughed devilishly as he caught their 
words. " Ila ! ha !" he r-aved, " we'll lighten the ship 
and quiet those noisy fellows down here together. Now 
run out a plank there : so, so. There shall be a clean 
ship, if we're caught at last.'' 

The slaves were ordered up on deck by half-dozens. 
They complied with alacrity, believing that they shoidd be 
saved from the waters that rose around them, reaching 
now almost to the necks of those who were stowed lowest. 
They came, to meet a more certain and speedy death. The 
captain's hoarse voice was heard above the howling of the 
storm : " If they resist, kill them, and throw their bodies 
overboard." All shared the same fate ; there was no dis- 
tinction of sex or age. Most fled from the gleaming steel 
to the raging waters. That wild scene of massacre is too 

horrid for mortal view. 

****** 

With the last batch came the Nubian, worn almost to 
a skeleton, yet with some portion of his vigour remaining. 
He obeyed the order, and came on deck. He had heard 
the screams of those who ascended before him, and at a 
glance saw his intended fate. A plank stretched to the 
sea ; he must tread it, or be cut down by the cutlasses of 
the merciless men around him. He advanced firmly and 
unresistingly to the plank. As his foot touched it, and 
the armed men were off their guard, he turned, and hip 



THE NUBIAN SLAVE. 275 

eyes met those of the captain, glaring with the fury of a 
tiger, about to spring upon his prey. The glance exchanged 
was momentary, but of terrible import. It spoke the 
mortal hatred and defiance of deadly foes. The captain 
raised his arm to strike. The Nubian sprang aside, struck 
with his fettei'ed arm a sailor who opposed him, into the 
sea, and leaping forward, agilely ascended the foremast, 
clinging to portions of the rigging. With a fierce oath, 
the captain called for a musket; he raised it to fire. At 
that instant the clouds opened, and his aim was dazzled by 
a stream of lightning, which, illuminating for an instant 
all the scene, showed the Nubian clinging to the mast, yet 
shaking his chains in defiance at his enemy — the blood- 
stained deck, the dimmed cutlasses, the black waves, and 
here and there a human form, tossing up its hands in wild 
despair above its head, ere it sank for ever in the depths 
of ocean. The rage of the elements was hushed for a 
moment, as in awe, but as the thunder rolled away, a ter- 
rific storm-gust made the ship groan fearfully ; another. 
and the foremast, snapping near the waist, fell with a 
tremendous crash into the boiling sea. 

In the morning, the schooner lay like a log upon the 
water. But her pursuer was nowhere to be seen, and she 
reached port in safety. Of her captives, not one remained. 
When the blood-stains were scraped from the deck, all 
trace of the massacre was lost. 

Through the night the Nubian clung to the mast. 
Despite of his chained hands, he lashed part of the rigging 
around him, and kept himself above the sea. When day 
broke, he raised his head, but he could see only the moun- 
tainous waters rising on every side. As the long waves 
swept by, he could discern the head s of sunken rocks above 
the trough in which he rolled. A few sea-birds flew abov* 



276 HVENINGS AT HADDON IIALL. 

him, as if awaiting the inoincnt when life should be extinct, 
to dart upon his body. These signs assured him that land 
was near, though he despaired of reaching it. He was 
saved beyond hope. 

A maiden, in the first blush of youth, and bright and 
beautiful as morning, looked from the topmost window of 
her dwelling on the northern shore of Jamaica. She was 
watchful, for her father was at sea, and she had been 
taught to dread the fatal fury of the tempest, as she 
dreaded the hurricane which sometimes swept the shore of 
produce and of life. She perceived a speck on the distant 
waters, though hardly could she discern a living form. 
Issuing from her dwelling, she hastened to the beach, and 
offered a reward to the fishers who would venture forth 
and make for that fragment of a WTCck — a father, she 
said, might be clinging to it in agony. A stout boat was 
manned ; it returned with the senseless Nubian. He had 
fainted when taken from the mast. The young girl had 
him conveyed to licr house ; there he was tended during 
a delirious fever. His language was not understood ; but 
the visions that distracted his mind could be gathered from 
his gestures. He shrank appalled from the frightful 
images terror had stamped upon his brain, or with raised 
hands seemed to call down maledictions from Heaven upon 
the authors of the guilty scenes that were ever present to 
his fancy. 

His treatment was kind and merciful. A great reproach 
had just been removed from tlic English name. The truth, 
long since recognised, that all men were brothers of one 
great family, was now practically acted on. Property in 
man was abolished in all our possessions ; a coloured skin 
wa« no longer thought unfit for frecdon^ or deemed a bar 
to the immortality of heaven. 



THE NUBIAN SLAVE. 277 

In the gentle breast of this young maiden a peculiar 
interest had been awakened for the African race. She 
had been taught that a long arrear of justice and benevo- 
lence was due to them for the wrongs they had suffered, 
and her heart, filled with pure and kind feeling, gladly 
received lessons which made the exercise of its gracious 
tendencies a duty. A minister of the English church had 
settled in the neighbourhood of her dwelling. He had left 
home, ambitious hopes, the pleasures of society, the chance 
of distinction and wealth, to take up his abode in this 
retired district, that he might gather the despised negroes 
into a church, and prepare them for freedom. In the long 
intervals of her father's absence, the sweet girl found in 
this good man a friend and instructor. Delighted with 
the child-like and artless simplicity of her nature, he 
watched over her education, and taught her the graces of 
polished life. He was glad that she had rescued the ship- 
wrecked Nubian, and now attended to him ; for he believed 
that all the virtues required exercise, and that they 
flourish best when theii* blossom is left to ripen into 
fruit. 

The name of this young girl was Mary Langley. 
She was a child when her mother died, and as she saw 
her father so seldom, her disposition had been much left 
to the guidance of Nature. She grew up with the un- 
trained beauty of the plants that made her home a garden. 
In her heart, the love and charities of her faith had 
flourished in the wilder luxuriance for being untrained. 
When her father saw her, he was satisfied with her 
lovely and blooming appearance. Though now rismg 
into womanhood, he would still treat her as a child, 
would take her up in his rough arms as he did in her 
infancy, and let her silky brown tresses flow on his breast,. 



278 EVENINGS AT IIADDOX IIALx., 

while her graceful arms embraced his neck, and he decked 
her out with trinkets. He could not understand all the 
tenderness of her character, nor make out why she was 
sometimes sad when he was boisterous in mirth. He saw 
in her onh^ the innocence and endearments of childhood. 
Sometimes she would laughingly try to make him share 
her feelings. He listened as men do who hear mysteries 
of which they can make nothing, so he interrupted her by 
telling her what a fortune she would have when she was a 
woman. Yet these two beings, so opposite in sentiment 
and disposition, loved each other fondly. Nature had 
linked them together with those mysterious bonds of 
affection which triumph over time, separation, and death. 
If her father did not soon return, the maiden was to join 
him at a port in South America. 

The Nubian recovered, but it was evident that he had 
suffered much ; his manner was dejected and reserved, and 
sometimes it seemed that the visions of his delirium re- 
turned, for a convulsive movement, momentary but fright- 
ful, passed over his usually rigid features. He appeared 
not wholly ignorant of Christianity, for he recognised a 
gold cross which Mary wore about her neck, and devoutly 
kissed it as the emblem of salvation. On the past he was 
silent ; a nurse, who had recognised some words he had 
spoken in his fever, addressed him in the same tongue, 
but he remained mute. He made rapid progress, however, 
in acquiring some knowledge of English. When he spoke 
in that language, he said he had been dragged from his 
home, and wrecked on his passage. He would say no 
more. 

His gratitude to the young girl who had saved him 
seemed boundless ; he recognised her as the preserver of 
his life, and was willing to devote himself to her service. 



THE NUBIAN SLAVK. 279 

Her care in his recovery, her kind tones, her beaming 
smile when she met him, penetrated his heart with a sense 
of her goodness. His large frame remained motionless 
while she addressed him, his full and expressive eyes alone 
spoke his emotion, and betrayed the eagerness with which 
he sought to comprehend her meaning, when he only par- 
tially understood her words. He seemed to know her 
wishes by intuition, and to take delight in studying and 
gmtifying her tastes. Her garden, under his care, was 
beautifully kept. The spot was richly favoured by nature, 
it was open to the cool winds, and shaded from the fierce 
heats by hills, and plantations of cocoas and tamarinds. 
All the choice and varied vegetation of the fertile soil 
assumed, under his hands, the most luxuriant growth and 
beautiful arrangement. There was no toil to which he 
seemed unequal. Once Mary expressed a v»^ish for a 
shaded w^alk, the Nubian knew no rest until the appointed 
space was planted with young trees of the choicest kinds. 

When abroad, an antelope and an elephant could 
scarcely have presented a greater contrast than these two 
beings. Mary was only just rising ^nto womanhood, 
though in that ardent clime nature brings the human 
form, as she does all other things, to maturity earlier than 
in colder regions. For her height, her shape was exquisitely 
delicate, — only beginning to acquire that smooth round- 
ness which indicates the ripening of the child into the 
maiden. All her motions were full of airy joyousness ; 
she had been subjected to none of the discipline of schools, 
and loved to let the evening air sweep her tresses from 
her face, and to play amid the wild luxuriance and beauti- 
ful solitudes of her home, with the delights that Nature 
presented to her. The Nubian's massive frame was firmly 
knit; he had just entered i"tQ the period of vigorous 



280 EVENINGS AT H.VDDON HALL. 

maiiliootl ; his motions were grave, slow, and measured. 
When the young girl was revelling in the soft cool air, 
that blew from the ocean at evening, he remained standing 
motionless, like a colossal statue, with his hands crossed 
Ujion his breast, and his eyes to the earth. They seemed 
personifications of grace and power met in amity. Hers 
was the will to devise, his the strength to execute. 

The Nubian was attentive to the offices of the church, 
and had been formally baptized by the name of Christian. 
The good minister, regretting to see his time passed in a 
way that could be little useful to him, mentioned in his 
hearing, that labour was greatly wanted at a neighbouring 
plantation, and that, in the present scarcity of hands, 
strength and industry were equal to a fortune. He had 
not calculated wrongly on the Nubian's quickness — the 
next morning he was gone. The young girl pouted a little 
for his loss, but the minister showed her how much better 
a life of toil would be for Christian, by which he might 
realize an independence, than a life of profitless servitude. 
She was convinced, and yielded. 

Tlie Nubian's proffered service was readily accepted. 
He toiled with unremitting energy, and was speedily 
noticed as a prosperous man. His savings were large, and 
were prudently invested. He soon saw that in this country 
wealth was ))ower, and power he coveted, to realize the 
projects which now began to shape themselves in his soul. 

He saw the gentle Mary but once in the week, — he 
knelt with her in the house of prayer. When the service 
was ended, he stood beyond the church porch, tranquil and 
motionless, to wait her words. His answers to her ques- 
tions were brief, yet, it seemed, nothing of what she said 
was lost to him. He appeared impassible and motionless, 
but each accent of her tongue was treasured up in hia 



THE NUBIAN SLAVE. 281 

heart. For ber he often obtained tbe cboicest ft ait, the 
finest mangoes, tbe largest cocoas; sometimes too, rare 
shells and beautiful plants. These offerings were delivered 
to her attendants without a word. He departed as swiftly 
and as silently as he came. 

A sorrow, which no care could remove, clouded the brow 
of the sweet gix-1. Her father wrote to her of crosses and 
misfortunes, which rendered it impossible for him to come 
to the island. Months after those notices of disaster 
came word that she should quit her home in a vessel 
which would call for her, and join him at Rio Janeiro. He 
intended, he said, finally to settle at Jamaica, but he had 
arrangements to make first, and he could not bear longer 
to be deprived of the delight of seeing his dear daughter. 
She who had been born on this spot was loth to leave the 
flowers she had tended with so much care, — the domestics 
who had grown so fond of her, — the dear minister who had 
been her friend from childhood ; she loved them all, yet 
her heart told her the faithful Christian would suffer from 
her absence the most. When she took leave of him, he 
remained mute and still, as though he had no power of 
motion ; but he lost not a word of her parting instructions. 
She would write often, she said, to the good minister. 
His eye glistened with delight as she added, " And some- 
times to you too. Christian, for I shall never cease to 
take an interest in your welfare.'' He made no answer, 
but kneeling, raised her hand to his lips. His gesture 
was full of devotion and love ; he seemed to be performing 
an act of adoration ; when he rose, he bent his head upon 
his breast and left her. 

There are breaks in real life, which its historian does 
but imitate when he passes over months or years with 
little comment. Not that preparations for great events 



283 EVlOMXfiS AT IIADDON HALL. 

are not in progress, but tliat tlic niovcinent is so slow and 
gradual, and often so hidden from human view, that its 
progress cannot be traced day by day. When Etna volleys 
forth its flame and lava, we note the awful jirogress of 
destruction with fear and wonder, and chronicle its minutest 
effects. But we think nothing of the mountain while it 
remains in repose, though in its quietude a powerful 
agency is working in its breast, and each hour it gathers 
force and materials for a new explosion. 

Four years passed by, and then a letter was received 
from Mary, announcing her speedy arrival. Her father 
■would follow ; she came first to prepare his reception. 

In this interval the Nubian prospered beyond all ex- 
pectation. By his unceasing labour he had amassed 
wealth, which the diminished value of land enabled him 
to lay out to excellent advantage. "When the foundation of 
his fortune was thus laid, his progress was rapid, for on 
himself he spent nothing. A fortunate speculation proved 
his shrewdness. He foresaw the failure of the next year's 
sugar-crop, and bought extensively at a low price; the 
result justified his expectations. He cleared an enormous 
profit by the transaction, and at once established himself 
both as a merchant and a planter. His estates were 
thenceforth prudently managed. He was a kind but vigi- 
lant master, and soon acquired all the details of commerce. 
He still maintained his reserve of manner, but with that 
few persons troubled themselves ; they were content to 
know that he was prosperous and wealthy. 

When Miss Langley arrived, he was the first to wel- 
come her. To her his fortunes had made no change in 
his manner; he was still humble and submissive in her 
presence as when he first devoted himself to her service. 
She found her home more beautiful than she left it, for the 



THE NUBIAN SLAVE. 283 

Nubian had been unceasing in his care to heighten the 
charms of the spot ; nothing had been omitted that could 
gratify her taste, or minister to her convenience. He had 
made that sheltered dell a paradise of nature, having col- 
lected in it whatever was most rare and beautiful in that 
beautiful clime. When, after her first burst of pleasure at 
the improvement she saw around, she remonstrated at the 
expense that must have been incurred, the Nubian inti- 
mated, in a quiet though sufficiently expressive manner, 
that he regarded her as his mistress still, and held himself 
indebted to her for all that he possessed. Mary was 
touched by gratitude so fervent and unusual ; she allowed 
the Nubian to pursue that course from which he seemed 
to derive most pleasui'e, and he was thankful to her for 
this compliance with his wishes. Each morning he sent 
to her some token of his remembrance, trifling, but suffi- 
cient as a tribute of homage. To him this seemed an 
acknowledgment that his life was due to her, as a single 
prayer in the morning consecrates us to the service of 
Heaven through the day. He saw her but once a-week, 
on the Sabbath, as before ; and he still waited, with crossed 
arms, beyond the poi'ch, for her to address him. Some- 
times he escorted her home, and walked with her through 
the beautifully shaded paths he had helped to form. Cus- 
tom easily reconciles us to outward appearance. Mary no 
longer thought of the colour of his skin ; she conversed 
with him, as she did with the minister, and regarded him 
as almost a dear friend. She was pleased with his pene- 
trating remarks ; and on his side he was never wearied of 
hearing Mary's descriptions of the various lands she had 
visited. Her voice was, in his ear, sweeter harmony than 
music could ever form. He never ventured to speak of 



284 EVKMXGS AT HADDON HALL. 

her personal apijcaraiicc, yet he tliouj^lit, anil with truib, 
that she had beeouic more lovely during hei' absence. 

Maiy was at this time onc-and-twenty. Born of Eng- 
lish parents, her skin liad been purely fair, but it had been 
tinged by the sun, so that it had now always that shade of 
beautiful and healthy red which we observe with admi- 
ration colours the face and bust of a blonde, when exertion 
or excitement nudvcs the blood dance with quicker motion 
through the veins. From contrast with this hue of her 
complexion, her eyes appeared of a deeper and purer blue, 
and to float in more brilliant lustre. Her bright hair 
hung in curling masses down her face, framing the sweet 
profile, which looked forth in gay playfulness. She had 
become more thoughtful, but not less innocent. Her 
travel had taught her more of the world's crimes, but had 
not fixed one stain u])on her heart. 

The moniing was bright, when a ship was perceived in 
the distance. Langley had at length arrived to commence 
his life of calm tranquillity. The news ran over the neigh- 
bourhood, and the surrounding residents came down to 
the beach to welcome the voyager, — the Nubian with the 
rest. I\Iary was caught in her father's embrace as he 
stepped from the beach. Her companionship had smoothed 
the natural roughness of his disposition. He returned 
kind greetings to all who met him, clasping the good 
minister warmly by the hand. Mary turned to introduce 
the Nubian, but he was nowhere to be seen. She was 
vexed at this, for she wished to present him to her father 
at a favourable moment, when he would perceive the esti- 
mation in which the fortunate Christian was held. She 
knew his general dislike and contempt of coloured people, 
and for that reason had not said a word to him of Chris 



THE NUBIAN SLAVE. 285 

■tiai 's rescue from the sea by her means. She preferred 
that her father shoukl first view him prosperous, before he 
was told of his destitution some years previously. 

From that day the Nubian was absent for weeks. At 
his dwelling it was told that he had been called by urgent 
business to Kingston, the capital of the island. 

It seems that in the soil of human hearts there is none 
so barren that some precious quality will not take root in 
it, which, if watered and nourished, may change the con- 
stitution of a bad nature. The poets have feigned that 
this principle of fertility pervades all nature, and have 
told that the toad, ugly and venomous, 

" Bears yet a precious jewel in his head." 

In Langley's soul tliis jewel was his love of his daughter. 
What to him seemed folly in others, was holy and blessed 
in her. By constantly sharing in her pure thoughts, he 
learned at last to comprehend them, and perceive their 
beauty. Imperceptibly, he learned to delight in her inno- 
cent pursuits. At first, when she told him of her schemes 
of charity, and would make him share them, he complied, 
from a vague feeling of cui'iosity, or to gratify her humour ; 
but afterwards, from the strong force of sympathy, her 
purity attracted his mind nearer to her own. As spirits 
of darkness flee from the presence of light, he found him- 
self, when with Mary, another person, his bad thoughts 
flying from him, as the dark visions of Saul rolled from 
his soul at the sound of David's harp. This change had 
been long in progress, unknown to himself. He felt him- 
self another and a better man, though he could scarcely 
discover the agency of his improvement. Let no one say 
that the attraction of goodness is weak. It is nr ore power- 
ful in commanding homage and respect than any other 



286 EVENINGS AT IIADDON HALL. 

quality of humanity. "\Vc ir cognise it at once — we bow 
down before it— we feel irresistibly attracted to imitate 
what we admire. If gross passions prevail over its sweet 
influence, we yet never cease to regret the fatuity that has 
lost us heaven for earth. If we dare to deny its supreme 
excellence with our lips, we acknowledge it with our hearts. 
We are infidels only outwardly. Tiic world may refuse to 
bend its knee, but it never can refuse the worship of its 
soul. 

In his calmer and secluded hours, with Mary as his 
guardian angel always near him, the conversion of Lang- 
ley went on. He experienced a felicity he never knew 
before, lie had been used to consider the clergyman a 
fanatic ; he now regarded him as a sober and a sensible 
man. People having only a partial acquaintance with the 
world, are apt to mistake sentiment for character. The 
two are wholly apart from each other. Langley was as 
bold, as adventurous, as active, as ever he was, but his 
energies w^re now turned into a new channel. He became 
an ardent expci-imentalist on the qualities of soils ; he 
invented improvements in crushing-mills; and, in short, 
brought into the life and occupations of a planter all the 
industry and resources which had distinguished him in 
another career. He learned to take an interest in Mary's 
flowers, and her schools for poor childi'en, and talked of 
building a church after his own design. But in the midst 
of this new and happy life he never looked back. 

He sat one evening, in company with the good minis- 
ter, engaged in cheerful chat. Mary had just finished an 
exquisite little air. The wax-lights brightly illuminated 
the large and lofty apartment, rendered cool by the even- 
ing air stealing in through the closed jalousies. The 
mmister was not one of those austere spirits who dislike 



THE XUBIAX SLAVE. 287 

whatever savours of gaiety and enjoyment. The soul, he 
held, resembled wax in this — that an impression was 
often most surely and lastingly stamped on it when it was 
relaxed. He sometimes quietly told that he had done 
more with the planters in a few words over a game of 
chess, or a hand at picquet, than he could effect by his 
best sermons. He sat now keeping Langley company 
with an excellent Havannah. 

The turn of conversation is often singular. A moment 
before they were discussing the flavour of cigars ; now 
they spoke of the consequences of sin. The captain was 
curious to know if, wdth a new course of life, all past 
crimes and errors were truly forgiven. Mary listened with 
more anxiety than marked the tone in which the question 
was put; for the past had so little the captain liked to 
look back on, that he contrived to banish it from his 
remembrance altogether. The minister replied, undoubt- 
edly, that to the repentant, sin was forgiven; but he 
remarked that, in some way or other, a punishment was 
attached to the original crime, from which it could not 
escape. " Sin is pardoned, without doubt,'^ he said ; " but 
believe this, that not one guilty action can be committed 
which will not meet with a strict reckoning, and for which 
a full and severe penalty will not be exacted in this world 
or the next ; sometimes by mental, sometimes by bodily 
agony. To no man is it permitted to greatly offend with 
impunity.^' 

The captain thought this doctrine carried a great deal 
too far. He was for a scheme of general amnesty, such 
as is granted by tottering states, which confound weakness 
with mercy, giving out that it fails to punish, not from 
impotence, but from an excess of charity and good-nature. 

The scene and the conversation had hitherto beec 



2SS EVENINGS AT HADDON HALL. 

commonp\ace enough, though the changes wliieh passed 
over Mary's face, as she hstened to the argument, threw 
in that touch of poetic feehng which is often found in the 
most ordinary occurrences. She knew herself deeply 
interested in the topic ; for there were passages in her 
father's life, darkly hinted at sometimes by him, which 
chilled her blood when she thought of them. 

The captain grew warm, and applied the argument, as 
heated persons will do, to himself. " Look here, now," 
said he ; " suppose that I, when I wasn't so wise as I 
am at present, had a cargo of slaves on board ? Well, 
we'll say the ship leaked, that she wanted lightening, that, 
no matter how, it was necessary to turn them out ; do you 
mean to say now, that I should be punished for that when 
1 took up with better notions ?" 

" I should say," replied the minister, regarding the 
case quite hypothetically, " that in this world or the next 
would a fearful punishment be awarded you." 

The captain grew a little paler. As for Mary, she 
gave a faint scream ; it was not without great difficulty 
that she could further suppress her feelings. 

"Tush, man !" said Langley, roughly, "I have done 
such things in niy time, yet what am I the worse for 
it now; where's my accuser?" 

A voice that filled the room with terror, said, dis- 
tinctly, "Here!" 

All eyes were instantly turned to the spot whence that 
voice issued. 

The Nubian stood in the door-way, his figure dilated 
beyond the grand proportions of nature. For the second 
time the glance of these two men met, and the captain, 
though his accuser was unarmed, felt that he was a lost 
man. 



THE NUBIAN SLAVE. 289 

His courage did not desert hinij though horror almost 
fioze his bloodj and deprived him of sense. He rose to 
meet the Nubian's gaze. " With what," he said, " do 
you charge me V 

The black said, simplj^, " With murder ! " 

Langley advanced to grapple with his accuser ; but 
Mary, quick as light, threw herself on the Nubian, be- 
seeching him to withdraw at once, telling him that he had 
accused her father — that he was in error — that he knew 
not what he was about. 

Never had the Nubian seemed more calmj as he said 
— "Almost I would to God I did not. Gentle girl, you 
speak to me in vain, I am but the agent of Heaven. The 
cry of the blood that wretched man has wantonly spilt 
has risen to the Almighty throne. The hour of retribu- 
tion has come ! " 

Four men entered the room at these words. The 
Nubian said to them, " Behold your prisoner ! " 

His terrible calmness carried conviction to Mary's 
heart. She tried to struggle with her dread — to address 
the Nubian. In vain; her faculties were paralyzed; she 
sank senseless at his feet. 

He raised her with the mingled reverence and love due 
to a divine being ; with such tender care and holy awe 
must the Christians of old have touched the body of a 
martyred saint. He threw back the bright masses of hair 
from her pallid face, and touched her temples with some 
water at hand. 

Langley fiercely grappled with the men who held him. 
" Villains !" he shouted, " let me go ; that fiend would kill 
father and daughter at one blow !'' 

The Nubian had laid the fainting form on a couch, 
and knelt beside it. He raised his eyes, and said, in 

u 



21)0 EVEMNOS AT HADUON HALL. 

tones cf deep pathos, "Thou hearcst — f^racious God — thou 
hearest! still am I doomed to suffer I" 

" Detested monster ! " exclaimed Langley, " why didst 
thou come here to destroy our peace?" 

The Nubian answered him not. He saw in the 
brightening colour of Mary's lips signs of returning life. 
" Guard well your prisoner/' he said to the men. Then 
grasping the hand of the minister, who, during the few 
minutes of this dreadful scene, had been motionless with 
astonishment, he bade him watch over her. " I will not 
shock her by my presence. It may be, I shall never see 
her more." He bent down to imprint one kiss on her yet 
cold hand, and left the room, answering not one word to 
the fierce reproaches of his enemy. 

The Nubian had recognised the captain of the slaver 
the instant Langley set his foot upon the shore. His 
mind was torn by the storm of contending passions. The 
horrors of that night of massacre, setting the seal of blood 
to the long career of desperate cruelty and wickedness he 
had witnessed, was never absent from his mind. He made 
no vow of vengeance, but he prayed Heaven to make him 
the human instrument of its justice. For this end he 
conceived that in his labour he was gifted with super- 
natural strength. Accident, or, as it seemed to him, Pro- 
vidence, had thrown in his way two of the seamen of the 
slave-ship. These men, as less guilty than their principal, 
he had constantly kept in the island, in the full belief that 
at no distant time would the captain be delivered into his 
hands, that their testimony might b( joined to his own 
against him. If he came not to thai island within five 
years, the Nubian resolved to wander over the earth in 
search of him. That time was within three days of its 
accomplishment when he saw Langley land. 



THE NUBIAN SLAVE. 291 

The struggle of bis soul ended in the conquest of 
the sterner passion. A voice within him cried out for 
ever — "Justice — justice!^' With all haste he departed 
for Kingston. For the event that had arrived he had long 
been prepared. His own testimony, express and clear, 
was supported by that, equally decided, of his witnesses. 
When the depositions were taken, he felt secure that no 
mortal power could deprive justice of its victim. " This 
day,'' he exclaimed, as he left the court, " have I built up 
the scaffold on which that man shall die ! " 

As the intelligence of Langley's crime became known^ 
it excited the greatest horror and detestation. He was 
examined and committed for mm-der. By the advice of 
his counsel he reserved his defence; his advisers franklv 
told him they saw no chance of his escape, if the Nubian 
pressed the prosecution against him with the same vigi- 
lance, and the witnesses all appeared on the trial. Mary 
had never left her father since his capture. Those words 
filled her with hope. She believed she had the power to 
save him, and that belief filled her with courage. 

Christian now resided in the capital. He still per- 
severed in his business with all his former regularity, 
though he felt the time was at hand when he should no 
longer continue it. Mary proceeded to his dwellings and 
was directed to his private room. She entered it unan- 
nounced. He was standing at a desk, apparently wrapped 
in profound thought, with his face shaded by his hand. 
Before him was a small miniature, which Mary instantly 
recognised as one of herself, that, at the earnest request of 
the minister, she had sent Christian in return for his con- 
tinued course of kindness and benevolence during her 
absence. From beneath his hand large scalding tears felj 
on the glass of the miniature.. He presented no other 



292 EVENINGS AT 11 ADDON HALL. 

trace uf emotion. His larfj;e form was as rigid as if it had 
been carved of stone. 

I\Iary seized the moment as most favourable to her 
wishes. The life of her father was at stake; with that 
thought what had .she to do with scruples ? She laid her 
hand softly on the Nubian^s shoulder. He started back 
for an instant, then gazed upon her with a look of in- 
describable love, admiration, and reverence. IMary, who 
knew the usual reserve of his manner, and had prepared 
herself for opening the interview, was sur])rised and 
affected when he threw himself at her feet, and raised his 
hands to her in an attitude of supplication. 

" Pure and beautiful being \" he said, in tones of the 
deepest feeling, " how can I ever hope for thy forgiveness ? 
yet how can I live, how can I die, without it V 

Mary felt that the barrier of reserve she dreaded to 
encounter was broken down by the Nubian's action in an in- 
stant. She addressed him with the simplicity of times past. 

" My forgiveness. Christian ! Oh, you may obtain 
more than that ! Save my father, as you yet may easily, 
and you shall have my regard and gratitude for ever." 

Anguish was written in every line of his face, as he 
replied — " This is not my act, but God's. I am but the 
instrument he wields in his hand." 

" Christian ! Christian ! beware how you mistake the 
impulse of revenge for the (Hctate of Heaven ! Vengeance 
is not yours ! Come, you have been deceived by bad 
spirits! Hear what it is I ask of you— only this, that 
you take no part against my father. Fly ! leave this 
i.sland at once. I — I, who saved your life, — Christian, I 
speak not this boastingly, but as a claim to your gratitude, 
— I beseech, I im))lore this of you, as the greatest boon 
that one creature can ask of another." 



THE NUBIAN SLAVE. 293 

He groaned as if his spirit were racked by mortal 
agony. " This is torture \" he said; " but it cannot con- 
quer me. Lady, if you had seen what I have seen, the 
long train of fainting captives, the horrors of that hold, 
dark, suffocating, filthy, in which fever raged, and the 
dead and living lay together, the massacre of that night, 
which even now turns my brain as I speak of it, you 
could no longer doubt that the justice of Heaven cries 
aloud for atonement." He sprang to his feet, having his 
mind filled only at that instant with all the crimes he had 
witnessed, and the sense that he was the chosen agent to 
avenge them. "He must die!" he said, firmly — "die, 
that the awful warning may be carried through all lands 
— die, that human justice may be vindicated — die, that 
the cry of innocent blood may be silenced — die, that the 
oppressor over all the earth may know God reigneth in 
heaven ! " 

The hope of ]\Iary fainted in her breast as those awful 
words, delivered with the vehemence and fire of inspiration, 
fell upon her ear. Yet she made one effort more to turn 
the Nubian from his purpose. She raised her eyes to his, 
and waited till she saw them melting with tenderness and 
affection. 

" Christian," she said, " though I have never breathed 
my thought into mortal ear, nor hardly looked on it 
myself, yet 1 know well with what feeling you have re- 
garded me. I have your love, such love as men feel for a 
chosen bride." She saw him start, and fix on her a gaze 
of passionate love. " My hand, my faith pledged on the 
altar, shall be yours, if you consent that we fly together. 
Think 1 will not a life of wedded love, my father^s years 
of penitence, be more dear to you than a moment of 
vengeance 1*" 



294- i;vi:m\c;.s at iiaddom hall. 

The Nubian turned from her for the space of an in- 
stant. When he looked on her again, his face was more 
tranquil. "Angelic creature!" he exclaimed, "worthy, 
ijot of love, but of worship, thou art more beautiful than 
my dreams ever painted thee. Never did I adore thee as 
in this hour. No mortal heart can ever conceive the 
temptation thou hast offered to my soul. To save thee 
iVom an uneasy thought, I would have died — I would 
have deemed all the torture to which man could put me 
repaid by one kind woixl from thy lips. Yet we part now, 
and for ever. Wretched that I am, I dare not ask thy 
pardon." 

He led her out unresistingly, but his keen sense saw 

that she shrank from the pressure of his hand. This 

alone was wanting to complete his agony. As she passed 

from his dwelling, his strong frame fell heavily to the 

ground. 

***** 

A gibbet stood long on a promontory of the Jamaica 
coast. The chains clanked dismally as the sea-breeze 
caught them. In that case of iron swung the bones of 
the murderer Langley, 

3fC 5fC 3f» T* ^ 

The Nubian, true to his purpose, stayed to see his vic- 
tim die. He had previously settled his affairs as one who 
was about to quit the world, giving his last instructions to 
a trusty agent. A sliip waited for him till the execution 
was over. His parting words were only that his mission 
on earth was accomplished. No one knew whither he 
went. 

The pure and gentle Mary parted from her father only 
at the foot of the scaffold, when his spirit seemed wholly 
Heaven's. With the good minister she quitted that 



THE NUBIAN SLATE. 295 

island, which now presented to her only images of terror. 
Her heart was too confiding to live long without an object. 
When time had softened her grief, a Ueutenant, poor, but 
high-minded, gained her affections. He had previously 
been unfortunate, but now all things prospered with him. 
He rose rapidly in rank; his promotion was secured by 
purchase ; he could never learn whose was the wealth that 
advanced him, that cleared off his incumbrances, and that 
made him a happy and a prosperous man. His sweet 
wife, though ignorant of the agent, suspected the source ; 
but the thought was too full of painful recollections to be 
willingly indulged in. 

A few years since, there came reports of a deadly con- 
flict between a party of Africans in a pro^dnce of Nubia 
and a band of savage slave-dealers. The Nubians were 
victorious, but their leader received his death-wound in 
the struggle. One of those who survived him, and who, it 
seems, had his confidence, took from his breast a miniature, 
and transmitted it by a safe hand to England. It reached 
Mary, then a fond A\dfe and mother, with a few words from 
the seaman to whose care it was consigned, telling how he 
who wore it fell. It was the miniature she had given to 
the unfortunate Nubian, and was now stained with his 
hearths blood. 

If in spirit he ever hovered over earth, he must have 
rejoiced as he saw that that picture, so dearly prized in 
life, was sometimes dimmed by Mary's tears. 



FIFTH EVENING. 



Os the morning of the day which ushered in the Fifth 
Evening of our revels, there had arrived at the Hall an 
accomplished literary friend of the host, who had been 
long absent in the East, travelling over every step of 
those lands which sacred and classical lore, combined with 
the beauties of Nature and the wealth of Art, have ren- 
dered the richest in the world, both in moral and intellec- 
tual associations, and who had since given to the world one 
of the best books ever called forth by that most fertile of 
all travelling themes. The Lady Eva had lately been 
reading these charming records of " the Crescent and the 
Cross" with delight and enthusiasm, and the moment 
their accomplished writer entered the library, she en- 
treated him to aid her Tale-telling project by something 
about " the land of the sun.'^ He sought at first to ex- 
cuse himself from the task, by alleging that what he had 
told of the beautiful lands he had lately visited was the 
simple, unembellished truth ; that he had seen, and tlien 
described what he had seen, for the use and convenience 
of those who might follow him ; whereas what the Lady 
Eva required of him was a fiction, an efibrt of the fancy or 
the imagination; and even if he had succeeded in the 
former ease, it was, so far, an evidence that he might fail 
in the latter. But the Lady Eva would hear of no excuse. 



zoE. 297 

" Surely," said she, •'•' you must have seen, in those far-off 
lands and strange conditions of society, enough of that 
kind of truth, which for us, here at home, will have all 
the air of fiction." 

On this hint, the gentleman she addressed, with grace- 
ful courtesy, proceeded to relate 



ZOE: 

AN EPISODE OF THE GREEK WAR. 



I.— GREECE AND HER LEADERS. 

" No gospel announces the glad tidings of resurrection to a fallen 
Nation — once down, and down for ever." — W. S. Landor. 

So spoke a true Poet — yet, for once, not truly : Time 
is the iconoclast of aphorisms, and every day demolishes 
some such unstable "eternal truth." 

Hellas, in her shroud of slavery, heard the Israfil voice 
of Freedom, and awoke ; — her spirit burst its bonds, and 

" Greece was living Greece once more ! " 

When the Revolution first broke out, the glow of war 
was not yet chilled in Europe : youth was still emulous, 
and age still proud, of glory won under the Lion and the 
Eagle standards. Many a young student, to whom Ther- 
mopylse and Salamis were more familiar names than those 
of Torres Vedras and Trafalgar, — when he heard that 
armies were marshalling in Greece and Thessaly, believed 
that the heroic age was to return : and many a veteran, in 
whom the force of imagination had long yielded to that of 
memory — the memory of privations and hard knocks — 



298 EVENINGS AT HADDON HALL. 

listened, nevertheless, eagerly to tlie first note of war, and 
formd the trumpet had lost nothing of its spell. 

No sooner had fame transmuted the Greek *' Insurrec- 
tion" into the " AVar of Independence/^ than volun- 
teers of all nations, ranks, and professions, hastened to the 
standard of Ypsilanti. Some of these modern paladins 
were sincere enthusiasts, and had abandoned a life of 
luxury and ease for this romantic cause ; but by fa; the 
greater number consisted of needy and profligate adven- 
turers : both classes — the seekers of glory or of gold — 
were equally disappointed in the capabilities of the Grecian 
camp ; the latter were forced to share the life and hard- 
ships of the Klepht and Paliear ; the former either obtained 
at once a leading rank, or retired from the service in dis- 
gust. All these adventurers were ultimately formed into 
a regiment called the " Pliilhellenic Band," which early 
distinguished itself in the field. 

Early in the year 1822, the young Senate of Greece 
was assembled at Epidaurus. The members sat, like the 
Areopagites of old, in the open air ; or lay couched on the 
fresh grass, in the shelter of some olive-tree. Their ap- 
pearance was as various as their attitude ; some wore the 
venerable beard, the flowing robes, and even the turban of 
their Eastern oj)pressors ; some were clad in the graceful 
national costume, adopted from Albania ; with crimson cap 
and broidered vest, and sash well filled with pistol and 
yataghan. Their appearance was imposing and strangely 
picturesque, as they sat or stood — grey-beard and warrior 
grouped together — on the slope of a gentle hill that com- 
manded a wide-spread view of the country in whose cause 
they were assembled. It is true that the classic Land 
beyond that glorious Gulf lay still in slavery; but those 
who gazed upon its beauty there had pledged their lives 



zoE. 299 

for its redemption ; and when was such a pledge kept 
truly, and in vain ? 

In all Greece, a more fitting place for such assembly 
could scarcely have been found : beneath them lay the 
Saronic gulf, winding round Salamis and old jEgina : — 
beyond — though purple shadows wi'apped Piraeus and the 
plains, — the Acropolis of Athens stood out against the 
evening sky, with its marble temples gleaming in the 
setting sun's last smile. That sunset streaked with gold 
the violet shadows of the mountains over Marathon, while 
far to the eastward it glistened on the sea ; and even in the 
darkling west one magic ray had lighted up the citadel of 
Corinth, through the very shadows of Parnassus. 

Even this Assembly, usually so turbulent and discord- 
ant, seemed influenced by the quiet of that evening hour. 
No voice was heard but that of the orator, through whose 
melodious, but warlike words, there stole at intervals the 
happy song of the wild bird, or the murmur of the waves. 
Occasionally, perhaps, when a friend was accused, or a 
native city threatened — some armed senator would start 
to his feet ; and, with flashing eyes and fierce eloquence 
denouncing the accuser, fling back the charge : but tran- 
quillity was soon restored. 

A short distance from the assembly, a guard of the 
Philhellenic Band lay scattered among some orange-trees 
that shaded the ruins of the temple ; all were asleep, 
except the sentries, and their young officer, who was 
leaning on his sword, and engaged in conversation with a 
stranger of very difi'erent appearance. The latter wore a 
sort of undress uniform like that of a Russian officer of 
rank, but this might have been assumed from its con- 
venience and simphcity ; there was no disguise, however, in 
the military carriage and dignified bearing of the wearer. 



300 KVKNINOS AT MADDON" HALL. 

II is cap was drawn down over his keen, but tliouglitful eyes ; 
and lu'avy moustaches performed their part in concealing 
the expression of the mouth, and giving a character of 
stern repose to the whole countenance : his dress was 
handsome, but uncared for; his sword and spurs alone 
were bright. His young companion, the Philhellene, 
presented a striking contrast to the stranger in every 
respect : the graceful and noble costume of Greece was 
carefully arranged about his light, athletic figure, and his 
richly-mounted arms were brightly polished. Though 
war and weather had scarred his cheek and bronzed his 
brow, his eyes still shone with enthusiasm ; his whole 
bearing was calm and proud, but there was that in his 
look which told of unbroken energy and resolution. 

" Shall I, then, announce you to the Senate ?" inquired 
the young officer. 

"By what name?" asked the stranger, with a smile. 

" I know not, though this is our second meeting. But 
I feel that I am in the presence of one who alone seems 
superior to the unhappy circumstances of the time ; and 
who will assuredly, soon or late, control the destinies of 
our country." 

"Of our country?" repeated the stranger, in the 
English language, but slightly tinctured with a foreign 
accent. 

" Yes," replied the Philhellene, " it is my country by 
adoption, as I believe it to be yours. I have already told 
you how I relinquished high prospects in England, to 
become a nameless adventurer in a cause which I still hold 
sacred — how suddenly my first illusions vanished when I 
found myself in the camp at Yasscy. You also know how 
my comrades perished at Uragastan, — that I, as one of the 
few survivors, obtained command in the Philhellenic Band 



zoE. 301 

— and this, with the exceptiou of our naval expeditions, 
forms my whole history. My zeal in the cause I serve, if 
less enthusiastic^ is more firm than ever : — my fate is now 
identified with that of Greece : avarice and cruelty, 
treachery and selfishness, may sully her fair fame ; but 
when I think on all that she has already done, — on all 
that she may yet perform, — I can still afford to hope a'S 
well as to remember.^' 

The stranger appeared to listen with interest to this 
confession ; and, after a pause, rejoined, " It is of such 
men as you that our country stands in need. I love your 
nation, but abhor your government. Had England but 
conceded the right of nationality to Greece, it would have 
been worth more to our cause than a hundred victories. 
But of this we will speak no more — It is well that we 
retain some of our illusions ; they may be converted into 
truths, and are necessary to veil our corruption : as your 
comrade, Chaussevigne, once observed to me, 'Greece is 
like the dome of the Invalides, at Paris — all glittering 
with gilding, but we know what there is below/* But, 
see ! here comes one in whom all the characteristic vices 
and virtues of this people are combined." 

As he spoke, a Greek oflBcer, showily dressed and 
accoutred, was challenged by the sentries, and then, dis- 
mounting, made his way to the assembly. "That is 
Theodore Colocotronis,'^ resumed the stranger ; " brave, 
avai-icious, sanguinary, and coxcombical. I thank the 
Turks that they have left our old men the dignified 
appearance of nonchalance with which they receive him : he 
comes from Nauplia, with tidings of defeat. But here 
comes a man of another stamp — Suli's heroic chieftain, 

* Michaud. 



302 EVENINOS AT HAPDOX IIAI.L. 

Marco JJotzaris. Sec how pnnully lie wears that stained 
capote over his simple vest ; uo herald's escutcheon in 
your kingly courts ever bore a nobler blazonment than the 
soils upon that shaggy skin. By heaven ! they rise to 
meet the rugged mountaineer — there is virtue still in 
Greece ! Their courtesy is well rewarded ; he brings 
tidings of the surrender of Corinth by the Turks. With 
what classic brevity, but force, he tells his tale. Look well 
upon him ; for such men live short lives in times like these." 

" And by what means, may I ask, have you become 
acquainted with events that these hurried men have only 
just had time to tell?" inquired the Philhellene, whose 
interest and curiosity w^ere strongly excited by his strange 
companion. 

" Some day or other you shall know," said the latter, 
" but not now. Here comes a friend of yours, the bravest, 
yet most diffident man that sails the seas. Farewell, for 
the present; tell Ypsilanti, when the assembly rises, that 
he who gave you this ring awaits him at Piadi ; then keep 
the trinket — it may serve you yet." So saying, the 
stranger left him ; and almost at the same instant Canari 
grasped his hand hurriedly but affectionately, as he passed 
to deliver his report to the assembly. The slight and 
delicate appearance of this naval hero gave little token of 
the hardships he had braved ; and when he timidly related 
to the assembly how he had steered his fireship into the 
midst of the Turkish fleet, and exploded her under their 
very guns — his faltering voice and downcast eyes appeared 
to belie his daring deed. His story was soon told; he 
exchanged a few words with the President, and in a few 
moments more had flung himself down by the side of the 
Philhellene — his timidity had passed away, and he was 
once more the frank, bold-hearted seaman. 



zoE. 303 

" Norman ! my friend, my brother ! " he exclaimed, 
" I have glorious news for you to-night. We sail at mid- 
night for Mycone, the isle of love, and wine, and beauty ; 
there, even your stately step shall flourish in the Romaika, 
and your cold Northern blood shall glow with night^s dark 
wine.* Then, on for Scio ! to avenge our slaughtered 
friends : — the butchering Turk holds his feast of lanterns 
on Friday night, and by all the gods of your mythology 
and my mother-land, he shall have a light he expects not." 
As he spoke thus, his eyes flashed fire, and his voice was 
in tune with the trumpet^s blast. "But more than all 
this," continued the volatile Greek, changing once more to 
a joyous mood — " more than the wine which cheers the 
body, or even than the vengeance that refreshes the soul, — 
I have found for you a heroine at last; — not one of those 
exemplary old women who is ready to set fire to a powder 
magazine, though herself and her children be a-top of itf 
— but a real, romantic heroine — brave, beautiful, eloquent, 
and even rich. What ! nothing but your old inciedulous 
smile ? I tell you, had you heard and seen her, as I have 
done, you would abandon those dreams and reveries of 
yours for a bright reality that transcends them all, and 
forget that the world contained aught else but her. It 
was she who roused the Eastern Islands to resistance, and 
inspired them with resolution to be free." 

The Philhellene listened with interest to a rhapsody 
well suited to those stirring times, and inquired how long 
his friend had known the subject of his glowing eulogy. 

* The " Vino di Notte " is made in the Cyclades, of a grape so delicate, 
that, if gathered by daylight, it ferments, and becomes worthless. 

t This was a circumstance of frequent occurrence in the Greek war — 
when the men were slain, and nothing remained for their wives and child- 
ren but the brutality of the Turkish soldiery. 



304 F.VENINGS AT IIADDON IIAI.L. 

" I '11 tell y^Jii, iiiy boy, how it liapi)encd. You know 
how reluctant Tenos and Myconc have shown tiicniseivcs 
to join our cause, or even to afford sup])lies. Last week, 
though I left my mark upon the Turkish fleet off Scio, my 
own shijjs did not come out of action exactly as they went 
into it ; and I was obliged to seek Mycone, to refit. I 
found the little harbour almost deserted, and there was 
scarcely a soul to speak to. One surly old fellow remained, 
however ; and he told me that the whole village was gone 
to the orange grove, where the ruined temple stands. 
And there I found them — men, women, and children — 
crowding round Modena IMavroyeni.* Now, I'm not 
fond, myself, of bearing a woman talking to more than 
one person at a time, but — before I had looked and 
listened while my pulse beat five, to that inspired girl — I 
only wished tliat all Greece could have heard her, too. 

" She stood upon the ruined temple's marble steps, 
surrounded by the Primates of the island, who looked like 
priests of old, attendant on their deity ; and never yet did 
priest or Pagan picture a divinity of more glorious form 
or inspiring voice. She spoke of Greece, and the cause 
became divine ; of slavery — and I felt its chain upon my 
neck; she spoke of our ancient valour — I thought I had 
been a coward until then, and was invincible thenceforth. 
She spoke of freedom, and her voice sounded like a 
Marathonian trumpet. She told of our slaughtered breth- 
ren, and her own slain sire, and the people wept ; and 
then she spoke of vengeance ! — vengeance — fierce, terrible, 
and swift ! Vengeance — that would sweep the Ottoman 
from the face of the earth, and carry Freed nn on its 
wings ! 

* Her story, as well as those of an ine persons in this tale, is histor.'-il 



zoE- 305 

" She ceased- -for a moment there was silenjc, as ibe 
ear strove to catch some echo of that thrilling voice : but 
then burst forth from every pent-up bosom one glorious 
shout — high, vehement, prolonged — that reached the 
Turks in their distant citadel, and told them their accursed 
rule had ceased for ever \'' 

The I'hilhellene caught instantly the enthusiasm of the 
sailor, and grasped his hand — "There spoke the spirit of 
old Greece ! " he exclaimed. " This is what I have longed 
to hear and know. I sail with you to-nignt, and if my 
faith in the regeneration of Greece has ever languished, I 
will kindle it anew on the altar of Modena IMavroyeni ! " 

" Not by that name, however," rejoined his mercurial 
friend; who now, half ashamed of his own enthusiasm, 
sought to amuse himself with that which it had awakened. 
" My heroine disclaims the half Italian title she received 
from her Fanariote father, and now styles herself, simplv. 
' Zoe,' — a name by which her mother used to call her." 

The assembly soon broke uji, and the friends separated 
— to meet at midnight on board the galley of Ganari. 



II.— LOVE AND WAR. 

" And yet in times so stormy, in a land 

Where Virtue's self held forth a bloody hand, 
To greet armed Power — in such times as these, 
Still Woman's Love could ftnd a way to please." 

Philip Van Artevelde. 

Merrily the light mystico* of Canari bounded over 
the starlit sea — winged by her snowy sails spread widely 

* The mystico is a light, long boat, peculiar to the Archipelago ; it i« 
adapted both for sail and oars, and has extraordinary speed. 



8()6 KVEMNGS AT HADnON HALL. 

to the breeze. Strenuously, too, licr stalwart seamen bent 
to their oars — changing at every sweep the |)ur})lc water 
to phosphoric foam. AA'ill was in their work; for, what- 
ever the vices of the Greek, iiis countiy's name was then 
on every lip — her cause in every heart. Swiftly they sped, 
for the mission of Canari was an urgent one, though now 
that Delhi of the seas lay wrapt in such deep luxury of 
repose as none but men of eager action know. 

The Philhcllene kept watch for his wearied friend; 
and found his own imagination strangely haunted by that 
Island Girl ; whose image would still present itself to his 
excited fancy, and block up, as it were, every avenue to 
other thought. Hitherto, everything Greek, except Greece 
herself, had disappointed him ; although during his brief 
but stirring career he had left no opportunity of adventure 
unessayed — 

" Woman, the field, the ocean — all that gave 
Promise of pleasure, peril of a grave — 
In turn he tried." 

Little more than twelve months had elapsed since Nor- 
man first joined the gallant but ill-fated Ypsilanti, in 
Moldavia ; but, in trial, disenchantment, and experience, 
those months had done the work of years. He believed 
that his worldly education was now complete — that he at 
length saw lite in all its clear and cold reality. Vain 
thought ! such knowledge is denied to man. Every one 
has his own " reality," which to his neighbour seems the 
veriest illusion; — and who is to decide? 

However war, wealth, ambition, and woman's self, may 
be argued down to an illusion, and lose their charm when 
applied to the cold touchstone of experience — Nature's 
glory will never lose its povvcr over a heart in which 



i 



zoE. 307 

sntlmsiasm has once existed. This even our adventurer 
could feel, as the Day-god — born anew at Delos — rose 
gloriously from his native isle, and shot his golden arrows 
over earth and sea : lightly they glance fr-om the iEgean's 
silvery shield, but pierce and scatter the pale mists on 
Sunium's Promontory, and the proud Athenian hills. 

As their first warm shower fell upon Canari's cheek, 
he sprang to his feet. For a few minutes, he gazed 
proudly and fondly on the \'iew before him, then knelt 
devoutly, and prayed to a little image of the Virgin. 

" Well ! my volunteer \" he exclaimed, as he rose from 
his devotions ; " the galley makes good way, and we shall 
make Mycone by nightfall. Now, tell me what you think 
of our expedition ; and, first — of Zo'e ?" 

" First inform me who it was you found me with, last 
night, at Epidaurus — the stranger whom you saluted so 
respectfully ? " 

'' That's exactly what I cannot tell you," said the 
sailor, looking serious ; " he knows more of our affairs than 
any man in Greece, yet he never drew a sword in oin* 
cause. He is one day at St. Petersburg; another, at 
Stamboul ; a third, in the heart of the Morea ; dictating, 
not only wisely, but bravely, to our vacillating president.'' 

" He seemed unwilling to be seen last night/' observed 
the Philhellene, " and Ypsilanti would scarcely wait to hear 
and grant my application to join your expedition, after he 
had heard his message." 

" And yet they say the prince hates the very ground 
this stranger shadows," replied Canaii : " he feels his 
superiority, and fears his superseding him as president. I 
have heard it whispered, that this man is Capo d'Istria ; 
and that — cold, cautious, and subtle — he only waits until 
the more forward men of Greece have rendered her cause 



308 EVENINGS AT HADDON HAI.L. 

illustrious, to put liimself at the head of her affairs. Now 
kt us change the subject ; and thank the gods that we 
have only Turks and war to deal with, instead of place- 
hunters and politics." 

"Agreed — in good time, too; for yon blue speck on 
tiie horizon is the island of your lady-love." 

" Nay, she's no love of mine/' rejoined the sailor. 
" Think you I should babble about her I loved, even to 
your cold ear ? Moreover, Norman, she's as proud as 
Lucifer, though lovely as his own bright star. And yet," 
he added, musingly, " I am the only man on whom she 
was ever seen to smile : but then it was in pity." 

" What ! 7J0U, Canuri — the Hattcred favouiite ashore, 
the fearless and the feared atloat — you, scorned by a vil- 
lage girl ?" 

"Nay — not scorned; neither is she is a village girl. 
Her father was one of the first families of the Fanal,* and 
came to Mycone only to avoid the persecution consequent 
on the war. Even here, however, it pursued him ; and 
he was put to death by Hassan Pasha when the Turkish 
Heet arrived. From that hour his daughter became 
changed ; — no longer the timid girl, who seemed to shrink 
if the rude breeze disturbed her veil; she went from house 
to house — rousing the spirit of the people to revolt by 
her own sad story and her wondrous eloquence. At 
length, hearing that the dastardly Council of the island 
was about to send submission to the Porte, she appeared 
among them; followed, as I told you, by all the inba- 
Mf:ants of the village. The beauty, zeal, and unexpected 
appearance of the heroic girl, gave to her mission almost 
a supernatural character. The senate heard her, as it 

* Constantinopoliian Greeks, called" Fanariotes/'froin the " Fanal," 
ttkc naaie jf tLe district thev iohabit. 



i 



zoE. 309 

were, reverentially; and, as her glowing words fell burning 
on their age-chilled hearts, they warmed to nobler viewf : 
each senator forgot his corporation craft, and felt — thought 
— voted — as an individual man. Mycone was free, and 
Zoe was the angel of its freedom ! 

" And now, to come to my part of the story : — The 
island was to furnish its share of ships and seamen to the 
fleet, and Zoe was the first to contribute the two best 
galleys in the harbour. My name was somehow whis- 
pered round; and, turning to me, sho poured on nie alone 
those words and looks that had dverpowered the whole 
assembly. What she said, I know not ; but hoiv she said 
it, I shall remember in my dying hour. AVhen she ceased 
to speak, the people turned to me, expecting a reply. You 
knov/ my failing — my utter inability to speak before a 
crowd. My heart felt bursting with a thousand thoughts, 
but I — stood trembling like a beaten slave. That impor- 
tunate assembly seemed now all eyes — and now all ears — 
and now seemed all gasping for my words as if for breath ; 
still, I was silent as the dead. Then it was she smiled. 
No smile of scorn, Norman ; but one of gentlest, kindliest 
encouragement, as she exclaimed, ' Our Canari prefers to 
speak by actions, rather than by words ; his silence accepts 
the command that shall speak in thunder to our tyrants V 

"With these words she ceased — the enthusiasm that 
had hitherto sustained her, seemed to fail ; she drew her 
veil timidly, but gracefully, aboul her, and retired. Then 
my words came fast and free enough ; for I felt, when she 
was gone, as if there was no one left. I swore that those 
very galleys should fire the ship of Hassan Pasha, and the 
false Turk shall confess to-moriow that Canari keeps his 
word !" 

Merrily still flew the light mystico over the sunny sea, 



810 EVENINGS AT IIADDON HALL. 

as the island she was bound firr seemed to rise from the 
waves to meet her. Gradually its bold and beautiful out- 
line became more clear ; then its bosomy hills and shadowy 
glens became developed ; the myrtle and olive groves came 
into view ; and, finally, the temple, the snow-white cottages, 
and the people on the shore. 

The mystico shot swiftly into the harbour ; but before 
the friends had landed, they could discover, from the 
excited crowds ashore, that something unusual had hap- 
pened. Groups of long-i'obcd elders or white-kilted youths 
were scattered round, each listening to some speaker who 
was declaiming violently. Women sat upon the rocks, with 
hair dishevelled and faces hidden in their hands; while 
little children pressed unnoticed to their sides. Bustle 
and confusion prevailed along the qiiays ; and high above 
the town the blood-red banner waved upon the Turkish 
citadel, whence salvos of artillery proclaimed some victory. 

The moment his flag was recognised, loud welcoming 
cries of " Canari ! Canari \" resounded from the populace. 
Crowds pressed eagerly about his galley as she took the 
ground ; and before he had landed, he learned from a 
thousand voices that Scio was laid waste, and all its inhabi- 
tants were massacred by the Turks.* 

Canari was well used to hear of death and horror. 
From his youth up, he had been accustomed to wrestle 
with the storm, and grap})le with destruction in its most 
ruthless form : but this murder — so terrible, so universal 
— for the moment seemed quite to overwhelm him. He 
thought of the kind, the beautiful, the loved, who had so 
often welcomed him to their delicious island, now cold in 

* Ninety thousand Greeks were slain on this occasion, out of a 
population of 110,000; and the loveliest island in Greece blighted into a 
wildernesa 



SOS. 311 

a bloody death; polluting with their unburied corpses the 
scenes that they once blessed ! He sank upon his knees ; 
and, clasping his trembling hands upon his burning brow, 
remained for some time in a silence that none dared to 
interrupt. Then, starting to his feet, his form dilated, 
his eyes flash(^d lightning fire, and his pale lips quivered 
in a vain attempt to give utterance to the storm of passion 
that raged within him. No words would come, though 
he laboured fearfully to speak ; but at last he raised his 
bugle to his lips, and blew his well-known battle-note — 
so wild, and long, and fierce, that his very comrades shrank 
befoi'e him, and the Turks were startled in their lofty 
citadel. 

Not all the tongues of ancient Greece could have 
spoken more eloquently, or made a more powerful appeal, 
than that one trumpet-blast. All the heroic feelings that 
had slumbered for a thousand years in Hellenic blood 
were roused to action by its spell. The whole people 
crowded once more round Canari — boys, and warriors, 
and grey-haired men — and demanded vengeance, as if it 
was only his to give. " And vengeance ye shall have !" 
exclaimed the sailor. " To-morrow's dawn will bring us 
arms from the Morea — to-morrow night, we sail for 
Scio \" Then, knowing how necessary it was that this 
excitement should be sustained, he continued — " To-night 
for the banquet — the funeral feast to our lost friends; to- 
night we will keep festival like our ancestors; and like 
them keep the morrow for revenge !"* 

Welcome was that word. The Myconians were of old 
renowned for hospitality, and the elders now hastened to 
occupy their fevered minds with a new excitement : the 

* '• Let us (line merrily, for we sup with Pluto." — Leonidas. 



312 EVKMXGS AT IIADDON IIAI.L. 

vounj; men hastened to the shij)h, and employed themselves 
under Canari's orders, in preparing them for sea. Mean- 
while the Philhellene wandered alone among scenes that 
si'emed everywhere to speak of Zo'e ; and pondered whether 
even her spirit could save Mycone from the fearful doon' 
of her sister island. 

And now evening was come : not, as in our northern 
climates, with damp, cold shadows falling upon cloaked 
people, hurrying to the shelter of their houses ; but " softly, 
beautifully bright /' genial as the noontide, refreshing as 
the dawn — thoughtful, tender, and inviting. The sea- 
breeze wafted fragrance from the orange-blossoms, as it 
made music with their boughs ; and Muttered through the 
long, dark tresses of many a Grecian maid. 

AVhere a soft green hill sloped gently to the shore, 
Canari and his comrades held their festival in the open 
air. No one could have judged, from their gay, joyous 
bearing and frequent laughter, that such was merely the 
light foam upon the torrent of one deep, dark passion, that 
rolled beneath. Unlearned as were most of the island 
Greeks of that time, there was a classic instinct amongst 
them that seemed to induce imitation of the customs, and 
even of the garb of ancient times. The white wide tunic, 
with its close vest, whose embroidery was an armour in 
itself — the long hair that floated round the shoulders, 
the brazen helmet, the greaves, and even the trumpet that 
characterized the naval Greeks, might have been worn at 
the siege of Troy. Like their ancestors, too, they made 
this funeral feast ; like them, they quaffed the rich red 
wine of Scio, and poured libations to the manes of the 
dead. But when they came to drink Canari's health, 
their toast was peculiar to their own time and people. 



zoE. ■ 313 

" Sudden and glorious death !"* was drunk to their leader 
with as much enthusiasm as if it involved length of days 
and peaceful happiness. 

And so the festival went on. The people of the island 
had decreed a crown of honour to Canari, for his last suc- 
cessful expedition against the Turks, and now he was to 
receive it. 

As is usual all over the East, whether Christian, 
Moslem, or mere Pagan, the men banqueted alone. But now 
the sounds of a distant serenade were heard from beyond 
the grove, through whose vistas a procession of Greek 
maidens was seen advancing to its music. Ordinarily, 
the melody of these festive Islanders was of the soft and 
gentle character that seemed suited to their clime ; but 
now it had caught the warlike tone of the roused people's 
mind, and the clang of the Moorish cymbal, with the loud 
roll of the throbbing drum, gave strength to the soft 
breathings of iEolian flutes. This contrast (and yet union) 
of the martial with the festive spirit of the hour was every- 
where apparent. In the harbour, the fire-ships lay dancing 
on the playful waves, bedecked with flags and streamers, 
fluttering thoughtlessly over the volcanoes that slept 
below. The revellers along the shore were equipped for 
war ; helmets wore the Bacchic wreath ; and many an arm 
that raised the sparkling glass was stained with soils of 
the armourer's forge. Al, intervals, the watch-cry of the 
sentries broke upon the ear, through the merry chattering 
of children ; and the peaceful olive-groves below reposed 
in the shadow of battlemented cliff's above, surmounted 
by the Turkish citadel and its crimson flag. 

But every eye was now fixed on the graceful procession 

* I know not how I can better translate the Greek toast of " xaXtt 
pfXufi), " — a good (or handsome) bullet. 



314- EVENINGS AT HADDON HALL. 

emerging slowly through the old tciiij)le's columned porch, 
that spanned their pathway. As they advanced, the men 
rose from their grassy seat, and gathered round Canari, 
who stood with folded arms, in embarrassed suspense. To 
him, that bright array of graceful women was more un- 
welcome than the fierce columns of the Turkish host ; and 
she who led them more formidable than all else. Her 
companions wore the rich and varied attire of their 
country ; their leader alone was arrayed in sim})le white, 
airily enfolding her stately form. All the others wore 
chaplcts of bright flowers, hut she was crowned with a 
simple myrtle wreath. On she came — with a calm though 
timid air: high-souled maidenly virtue shone in her eyes, 
and endowed her glorious shape with majesty. The revel- 
lers paused in their wild glee, and bacchanals grew reverent 
before her ; for she looked like an angel descended from a 
higher sphere on some gracious mission to fallen man. 
And such, indeed, she was — from the lofty sphere of 
thought in which her spirit dwelt, she had brought free- 
dom's aspirations, and conferred them on her tyrant- 
trodden countrymen. 

A hundred voices whispered " Zoe ! " as she came, 
slowly, and more slowly, until she paused before Canviri : 
then, as he knelt with folded arms, she placed a chaplet of 
oak-leaves on his helmet, and said, in a voice that, gentle 
as it was, reached every ear ; " Mycone, grateful to her 
hero, sends you this." The acclamations that burst from 
the excited crowd were hushed instantly, when her lips 
were seen to move again, as she raised the white-cross 
banner. — " For what you have already done, Can^iri, our 
people offer you this crown ; for what you are about to do, 
they entrust you with this sacred symbol, the standard of 
regenerate Greece. Confident that, in your keeping, ita 



'OE. 315 

glory is secure, we add only the injunction of the Spartan 
— 'H tS.\, yj i-ri ra/."* Air loves sweet sounds, and 
wafts them carefully along. The Grecian echoes caught 
those classic words, so breathed by classic lips, and poured 
them into every listening ear of that widely-circling crowd. 
Once more a shout of acclamation rent the sky, and once 
more was hushed, as Canari, losing his timidity in enthu- 
siasm, rose suddenly, and gave the flag to Norman. 

"By him," he cried — "by him that banner shall be 
carried more nobly, though not more proudly, than by me. 
Grecian-born as I am, my country claims my life and 
service as a right ; but here is one who has dared as much, 
and done far more than I — who has shed his blood for us 
on the hills of Epirus, and the ^gean seas ; who for ua 
has abandoned his own prosperous England — his home, 
and that of Freedom ! " Once more the acclamations rang 
in generous echo to that generous speech, and the Philhel- 
lene was startled to find that every eye was bent on him. 
His proud self-possession soon returned; and as there is 
nothing more imposing to an excited audience than per- 
fect calmness in the person who addresses them, his words, 
sincere though few; his manner, modest though manly; 
instantly riveted attention. But he soon found himself 
speaking for one alone — that beautiful being who stood 
before him, with her large, soft, inquiring eyes fixed 
radiantly on his; her exquisitely chiselled lips seeming 
to quiver with the echo of each word he spoke ; and the 
rich, warm blood betraying every emotion of her heart in 
her changing cheek. 

Why should we pause on such a scene ? — It is over ; 



* " With it or upon it." The words and allusion of Germanoa, 
Archbishop of Patras. 



31G tVENlNGS AT IIADDON HALL. 

and till' j)co])le are dispersed along the shore ; each {rroup 
sustaining its excitcnicnt in a different mode : here a circle 
of young islanders whirl rapidly m the Romaika dance, to 
which the surrounding crowd keep time with clapping 
hands and martial song; — there a party of revellers, 
crowned with ivy, sustain the island's Bacchic character, 
as they drink deeply to the health of Zoe and the gallant 
stranger. Gathered round the old elm-tree, the elders 
are assembled in debate on the equipment of the morrow's 
expedition; and many a doomed sailor is strolling along 
the shore, with his arm encircling some slender waist that 
shall never feel that pressure more. 

It is the invariable result of times of common and 
intense perd, that the usual conventionalities of life are 
dispensed with, and the fetters of formality relaxed. The 
Greek islanders were never remarkable for demureness; 
and now, by universal consent, every disguise abandoned, 
life wore, openly and honestly, its best and truest feelings 
— as it might be, in its last hour. Old feuds were for- 
gotten, decaying friendships were restored, and lovers no 
longer shrank from free confession, or feared observant 
eyes. 

Softly and gloriously the summer moon shone over 
that fair island and its joy-tranced people — joy all the 
deeper and more intense from its uncertainty : but a 
brighter light was shining, and a deeper joy was basking 
in its ray, where Zoe wandered with the stranger by her 
side. Norman was deeply versed in all the graceful 
learning of that lady's land : a scholar's fame had long 
been his, and his aspiring mind had grasped at all that 
ever came within its reach. And yet how much had he to 
learn from this simple island girl ! What was the value 
of all the light that ever beamed from philosophic page, 



ri»E. 317 

compared with that now shining from her eyes ? How 
dark and objectless seemed life till then — how eagerly and 
devotedly he gave himself up to a first, deep, reckless love ! 
And Zo'e — how changed was she within that hour! Till 
then, • her every thought was engrossed by her orphan 
sorrow or by patriot pride : the first passion to which her 
young heart awakened was thirst for vengeance on her 
father^s murderers ; this became sublimed into zeal for her 
country's cause; and feeding thereupon, her soul grew 
strong. Then, finally, came Love — the master passion 
that absorbed all others — shining out suddenly, like sun- 
rise in those Eastern skies : no struggling dawn — no long 
protracted contest between light and shade — but flashing 
forth upon her soul like lightning, and filling at once its 
whole horizon. 

Man seeks, however vainly it may be betimes, to pre- 
serve the " Divide et impera " system in his passions ; 
and in his heart, ambition, pride, and glory may share 
their rule with Love. With woman — Heaven bless her! 
— the master passion is a despot, and one that "brooks 
no brother near the throne :" whatever it may be — love, 
pride, anger, or revenge — it rules alone. 

And thus it w^as with Zo'e — Nature's own wayward 
child : but a few hours ago, her every thought was occu- 
pied with glorious abstractions, that seemed to leave nc 
room for another emotion in her mind : unconscious of hei 
rare endowments, to her it seemed as natural to speak 
eloquently as to feel deeply. She had never known what 
it was laboriously to strive for, and lingeringly to acquire, 
influence: she appeared, and her power was felt — she 
spoke, and it was omnipotent. To her ardent but modest 
mind, this influence seemed simply owing to her mission 
as Priestess of the glorious creed she preached. 



318 EVENINGS AT IIADDON HAIL 

And then came Norman, clothed with all the attriDutes 
most attractive to her imagination ; with a spirit so calm 
and self-possessed — yet enthusiastic as her own; with all 
the prestige of the most daring deeds, yet the gentleness 
and reverence towards woman that combines with bravery 
so well. His eloquence, earnest and commanding, made 
the exclamatory harangues of her own people appear to be 
mere angry prattlings : and then his devotion to her — so 
sudden, trusting, and entire: the critical and exciting 
times in which she lived — all these things "rent moments 
into immortalities," and made the passion of the hour 
appear mature. 

Night went, and morning came full swiftly to that 
island people; but most of all, to the palace w^re Zoe 
entertained her guests. Ajjart from the gay and thought- 
less crowds, she sat beneath a lofty alcove, looking out 
upon the sea. Eastern luxury was there, blended with the 
rctincments of civilised Europe. Italian art had decorated 
with frescoes the light, graceful architecture of the Sara- 
cens ; silken cushions were piled upon the porcelain floor ; 
silver lamps shed soft light uj)on a sparkling fountain; 
and around it vases of flowers, exotic even there, breathed 
jierfume. 

And Zoe gazed upon the paling stars, and the bright- 
ening hills, and the shadowy form of the Turkish mosque, 
that showed where the beleaguered Moslems still kept their 
ground. The eyes of the Greek maiden wandered over 
the sea, and rested long and earnestly on the galley that 
bore the banner of the Cross. In a few short hours it 
was to bear the stranger, now her lover, to danger and 
perhaps to death : but Jie was by her side ; and he also 
gazed thoughtfully upon that tranquil view, and proudl) 
on that fateful banner. 



zoE. 319 

" To-morrow night," lie whispered, " that flag that 
floats serenely now, shall ascend to the skies on the ex- 
plosioii that destroys the Pasha^s ship. But not more high 
or suddenly will it soar, than the hope that now breathes 
softly in your ear, to claim reward when we return." 

"When we return!" she repeated. "Alas! the 
charmed life Canari bears may be proof even to this des- 
perate chance — he may return ; but he may come alone !" 

Just then the bugle of Canari blew ; and thenceforth 
prompt, energetic action, took the place of thought and 
reverie. Eager and armed crowds now hastened to the 
shore, and Norman^s step was not the last that trod 
Canari's deck. Still the little fleet waited for the morn- 
ing's breeze ; and at the earliest dawn the Patriarch of the 
island came, with his priesthood in all their sacred pomp, 
to bless the expedition. The 

" Full of hope, misnamed forlorn," 

confessed themselves devoutly ; and bent humbly beneath 
the absolving hands, before they mustered at their re- 
spective posts. In each of the fire-ships an altar was 
raised, and garlands of flowers adorned the rigging. Who 
could imagine, as he looked upon those ministers of peace 
— surrounded by every sacerdotal sign, and voice of 
hymns, and festive wreaths — that destruction's fiercest 
devil crouched below ? Every cavity in these ships was 
charged with explosive matter ; hand-grenades lay in piles 
along the decks, and a battery lurked among the grappling 
irons, the first strain of which was to explode it : the 
subtle Greek-fire — penetrating and quenchless — was laid 
in tubes from stem to stern ; and a curtain of bullet-proof, 
to defend the firemen, lay ready for tricing up the shrouds 
when the ships were about to act. 



820 EVENINGS AT HADDON HALL. 

The breeze blows inerrily, the luirbour is deserted, the 
open sea is gained, and galley and fireship strain eagerly 
for the scene of action. Day fades, and evening comes. 
Seio looms before the invaders through the evening's 
gloom, and soon they open on the bay where the Turkish 
rteet lies crowded in fancied security. The Grecian galleys 
come to an anchor along the unprotected southern shore; 
but the fire-ships that are to begin the action sail on to the 
north, in order to command a leading wind. 

^Meanwhile, the triumphant Moslems held their festival 
in the desolated homes of the slaughtered islanders. A 
thousand bonfires along the shore gave light to groups, 
rejoicing tranquilly according to their fashion. Every 
Turkish ship was clearly visible by the light of innu- 
merable lamps hung amongst the rigging : and conspicu- 
ous above all was the admiral's flag-ship ; on which three 
bright-green lanterns showed that Hassan Pasha held his 
orgies. 

By the last light of evening, two little brigantines, 
bearing the Crescent banner, were seen slowly entering the 
bay. On they came, tranquilly and unnoticed, till, in- 
stead of bending their course toward the merchantmen, 
they were observed to steer straight for the centre of the 
Turkish fleet. That fleet had already experienced the 
fearful havoc of the Greek fire-ship, and at once a cry 
burst from every watchman — " The Greek ! The Greek !" 
Instantly the Moslem joy was hushed; hurried and con- 
fused commands were issued aboard of every ship; cables 
were cut, and sails were instantly let fall. 

Just then, one of the two dark little craft that had 
caused such panic in that stately fleet, was seen to haul 
her wind ; for a moment she remained motionless, while 
the crew of her doomed consort got on board, and left 



zoE. 321 

Lanari and his friend alone to work her. A small caiqiu; 
— their only hope of safety — towed astern; and on went 
the little brigantine gallantly through the heart of the 
Ottoman fleet. Cannon opened upon her from every 
quarter; and a thousand bullets whistled round the white- 
cross banner that now proudly streamed from her mast- 
head, as she swept calmly, but swiftly on. Canari holds 
the helm, and Norman leans against the foremast with 
folded hands, in one of which is visible one burning spark. 
The brig passes on silently through the confused and 
drifting fleet, and winds her way steadily towards the 
towering ship of the admiral. Now she is under her very 
counter — and now her gunwale grates against the sides; 
the grappling-irons fasten in the main-chains — the little 
spark has been planted and makes quick harvest ; a hun- 
dred dusky hands strive to shake off" the irons; but the 
grenades explode, annihilating everything but the grim 
hooks that they protect, and the stanchions to which they 
cling. — ''Now, Norman, our task is done! — Away for 
life and Zo'e!" shouted Canari, cheerily, as he leapt, fol- 
lowed by his friend, into the caique, that soon shot clciu' 
of the fire-ship and her gigantic victim. The latter had 
cut her cables, and now drifted to and fro, as if struggling 
to get free from her destroyer; — vainly as the tall giraff"e 
attempts to fly from the tiger that bestrides him while it 
tears his sides ! The caique paused upon her oars, and 
watched for the explosion. It came full quickly; — for a 
moment the brig recoiled, — then seemed, transformed 
into fire — to plunge into the Moslem ship: instantly was 
the fiery invasion met, echoed, and repelled, by another 
explosion, louder and more terrible by far ; the huge three- 
decker and her destroyer disappeared from the ocean and 
mingled their blazing fragments in the clouds. 

By that sudden flash were seen a thousand turbans 

Y 



322 EVENINGS AT UADDON HALL. 

floating about ou the dark water: one — only one — small 
boat was seen escaping, and Canari's eagle eye caught the 
Pasha's standard at its stern. A gesture was enough : the 
caique shot along through the sparkling shower that hissed 
around it, towards that boat. It struck the barge ; the very 
shock gave impetus to the force with which the assailants 
sprang on board, and their swords descended as they came. 

A moment is gone by ; that boat contains no living soul. 
The caique skims again lightly towards the open sea ; and 
the insignia of the ruthless Pasha are amongst her trophies. 

That night and its morrow are passed by. Evening 
comes again, with all the soft beauty that it wore when the 
lovers looked out upon Mycone's bay. Softly and glo- 
riously once more the moon shone over that calm scene, 
and thoughtfully did Zoe once more gaze upon its beauty. 
Long had she striven to sustain her spirit with heroic 
thought and Tyrtrean song; but suspense had tranced 
her into silence, only broken by the beating of her passion- 
ate heart. The lute lay neglected by her side, flowers 
were torn and scattered round her ; the very horizon she 
had watched so long seemed like some iron circle pressing 
ou her brow, and she buried her face in her clasped hands. 
A rip])le is heard — a caique shoots along the waves, and 
lightly touches on the marble stairs — a firm but slow step 
is heard — and Canuri comes — but comes alone! 



III.— PEACE. 



" But song of bard, or sage's lore, 
That land ennoble now no more ; 
It is not Greece — it must not be ; 
And yet look up — tlie land is free ! " 

AuuREY DE Verb. 

Long years of sanguinary struggle and fearful vicissi- 
tude had passed by; Greece was left desolate of her beauty 



zoE. 323 

her wealth, and her bravest children — but she was left 
FREE. Her patriot people either slept in honourable 
deathj or lived in liberty. 

In the early spring of 1833, the beautiful harbour of 
Nauplia was crowded with ships of war ; the conquering 
flags of Navarino — English, French, and Russian — floated 
from their spars ; and salvoes of artillery welcomed to her 
shore the monarch of regenerate Greece ! 

And such was the result of what cold-hearted, calcu- 
lating Europe denounced twelve years before as a hopeless 
struggle ; as if any noble cause were ever hopeless ! Twelve 
years before, and Ypsilanti might have said — 

" Lo ! with the chivalry of Christendom, 
I wage my war — no nation for my friend ; 
Yet in each nation having hosts of friends ! " * 

And now the most powerful nations in the world were 
emulous of doing honour to the cause they had so long 
denounced. 

Almost all the Greeks of the Morea, whom the war had 
spared, and many of those from Livadia and the islands, 
were assembled on the shore to greet their king. Infi- 
nitely various was their appearance and ari'ay ; as Primate, 
Klepht, and Palicar, in coloured robes, or snow-white 
tunics, and scarfs, and arms, and armour of antique 
fashions, crowded round the path their sovereign was to 
take. Some clambered about the broken bastions, or over 
fallen columns, to command a better view. Greek matrons, 
in their festival attire, thronged each safer spot of ground ; 
holding their unconscious infants up, as if they could see 
also through their eyes. The pathway to the citadel was 
kept clear, not by soldiers, but by Greek maidens, upon 

* Henry Taylor's admirable drama, " Philip Van Artevelde." 



S2 t EVENINGS AT HADDON HALL. 

whom none of those wild warriors of the hills would dare 
to press ; and little children sang hymns of joy and wel- 
come as they strewed the ground with Howers. 

Facing the place of disembarkation, the ground was 
broken by military operations, or their result ; the road 
to the citadel wound among huge rocky fragments, whose 
mossy eminences afforded resting-places to gay groups. 
Beyond this space rose the Acropolis, backed by the wide 
sweep of the hills of Argos and the mountains of Arcadia. 

Another loud salvo of artillery shook the sky, and 
announced that Otho had landed in his new kingdom, 
whilst a universal shout of enthusiasm from his new sub- 
jects welcomed him to Greece. The graceful and classic 
costume of his adopted country became his light and 
youthful figure well ; and he trod the sacred soil with a 
firm and noble step. His eyes glanced eagerly around ; 
but, alas ! there was no generous fire, no proud inspiration 
there ! His salute was courtly, but cold ; and while Gre- 
cian warriors pressed to catch his notice, he chattered 
lightly to his Bavarian friends. 

He was, however, the gift of the Great Powers to 
Greece, and it behoved her to be grateful. And so her 
enthusiastic pcoj)le felt for a little while. No foreboding 
of worse than Turkish tyranny, renewed under a Christian 
form, then shadowed their glad hearts ; mirth and revelry 
resounded everywhere, and the first festival of freedom 
was well kept. 

That evening — when the sun had set, the breeze blew 
off the land, and the fever of rejoicing was at its height — 
a lonely galley held her way from the festive shore, on, — 
over the darkening sea. She steered the same course 
that the galley of Canuri held long years before, and 
reached the same haven m the harbour of Myccne. The 



zoK. 325 

islanders were celebrating their king's arrival with their 
asual zeal in the cause of pleasure ; but the pilot of the 
galley made no pause among the revellers. He soon 
found himself alone among the orange groves ; and 
near the ruin.ed temple found the object of his search — 
a grave. 

A tomb of Parian marble bore a simple symbol; but 
while an inhabitant remained, there was no epitaph needed 
to tell the stranger that beneath its shelter reposed the 
chivalrous valour of the Norman, by the side of the 
passionate but pure beauty of the classic East. 

Can^ri, too, has long since found a sailor's sepulture 
among the islands that he died to save. There he lies in 
honour — shrouded only by the dark ^Egean that he loved 
so well. 



At the conclusion of the Eastern traveller's narrative, 
with which all the company professed themselves much 
gratified, the Lady Eva turned appealingly to a young 
lady who sat near her, and intimated that the more her 
own sex would assist in this novel celebration of her birth- 
day revels, the more she should, in after-life, recur with 
pride and pleasure to the recollection of this happy 
year. "And I know you can tell stirring stories,'^ she 
addec", archly and beseechingly; "for Saint Etienne 
revealed this fact to me one long winter night of last 
year." 

The apjeal was successful; a drawing was quickly 
chosen, and presented by ,he Lady Eva. and the res\ilt 
ppas 



326 ^VENINGS AT HADDON HALL. 

THE TERRACE GARDEN. 

In the southern provinces of France, the climate is 
almost Italian. There, along the range of the maritime 
Alps, the vegetation is luxuriant as that of Italy ; the air- 
tints of that sunny region possess all the magic glow of 
the sweet south, and the short twilight following the 
summer day is as soothing to the soul and sense as that 
which heralds the night upon the shores of Naples. It 
was an evening in the month of August, 1790; the sun 
was slowly sinking towards the blue waves of the Mediter- 
ranean,, along whose sleepy and slowly heaving swell his 
last rays fell in a broad tract of light. Large volumes of 
copper-coloured vapours rested on the western horizon ; a 
few white, feathery clouds flecked the deepening azure of 
the high vault of heaven, and already the young moon 
glimmered above the crests of the distant mountains. A 
bold promontory stretched far into the glassy waters of 
the gulf of Lyons. A thick wood of aged oaks, with a few 
tall pines rising proudly above their broad masses of foli- 
age, clothed the promontory from its summit to the verge 
of the steep rocks skirting its base. Midway up the ascent 
stood the chateau de Montauban ; it was a stately pile of 
Gothic architecture, with the dark ivy, the growth of three 
centuries, clinging to its grey stone, mantling the highest 
turrets, and almost hiding the sculptured shields of noble 
blazonry surmounting each di-cp-arched gate and window. 
The chateau was surrounded by terraced gardens, with 
their groves of orange-trees, their thickets of roses, then* 
stone vases filled with exotic shrubs, and their fountains 
sparkling in the evening light. Long flights of stone 
ytuirs led from the upper to the lower terraces, until they 



THE TERRACE GARDEN. 327 

descended to the lowest, which was scarcely raised above 
the shore of a small cove, where the rippling waves, 
dancing in between the cliffs, washed murmuring over the 
pavement of the terrace. 

Two persons stood hand in hand upon the lowest ter- 
race, and looked silently over the scene we have essayed 
to picture. One was a young man, who might perhaps 
have already attained his twentieth year. His figure was 
tall and graceful, but cast in that athletic mould which 
showed that he had already acquired the full sti'ength of 
manhood. His head was set on with the proud grace 
often seen in the works of the antique sculptors ; his fea- 
tures were aquiline, and strongly marked, possessing the 
haughty and somewhat stern beauty of the Roman statue. 
His eyes were dark and fiery as those of the mountain 
stag ; and his hair, which curled closely round his fore- 
head, was black as the raven's wing. His dress was the 
plainest garb of the Alpine hunter; but the easy dig- 
nity of his whole air and mien proclaimed his right to 
rank with the highest nobles of France. He was certainly 
a handsome man, but his almost faultless beauty repelled 
rather than attracted interest. His countenance too truly 
mirrored his spirit, and betrayed the feeling of disgust and 
lassitude which follows the excitement of premature pas- 
sions. The freshness and the illusions of life were lost , 
he had lived too quickly, and the clear, keen observation 
of men and their motives, — the cold, selfish spirit of 
worldly calculation, had succeeded to the expansive gene- 
rosity and warm-hearted confidence of youth. His wealth 
had enabled him to purchase the bitter knowledge of the 
worthlessness of the w^orld, and to buy pleasure which had 
destroyed happiness. 

His companion was a girl, apparently about one year 



328 EVENINGS AT H ADDON HALL. 

younger. Her fairy foriii, beautifully rounded, but almost 
infantine in its fragile lightness, her long auburn hair, 
falling in waves over her shoulders, her soft and dark-grey 
eyes, shadowed by their black lashes, and the rosy and 
transparent bloom on her fair cheek, gave to her beauty a 
witchery which had won for her the name of the Fee 
(le Montauban. She leaned upon her companion's arm, 
and looked fondly into his eyes, which were fixed upon 
her with a gaze of equal fondness. 

" To-morrow \" she said, with a sigh : " so soon — so 



very soon 



1^' 



"To-morrow!" he replied, with a look of fierce impa- 
tience ; " it is even now too late." 

" Adhemar, why will you leave us ? There is no hope 
of glory now — nothing but danger." 

" And duty, Madeleine," he added. " Would you, the 
last scion of our race, would you wish your brother to dis- 
honour our name, and to stain that noble shield, which 
has been borne untarnished since our ancestor won his 
spurs on the fields of Palestine, and received them from 
the hand of Philip Augustus?" 

" But the court can claim no duty at your hands," said 
Madeleine ; " you never sought power or rank from the 
favour of the king. Not one of our ancestors ever received 
any honour from the court." 

"True, Madeleine. The name of a Montauban was 
never heard in the ante-chamber of some lowborn minister, 
whose arrogance marked the depth from which he had 
crept, as well as the height to which he had climbed. No 
Montauban was ever seen in the degraded levee at the 
ruelles of the fiiir favourites, tlie only mediators whose 
intercessions with our kings could obtain the royal favour 
for the nobles of France. Never were our names heard 



THE TERRACE GARDEN. 329 

there; but when did a Montauban desert his sovereign in 
the hour of danger ?" 

" But the danger now hes in the hatred of men so far 
beneath you^ that it is a degradation to contend with 
them," said Madeleine. 

" A pack of wolves may be as destructive as a lion ; 
shall we spare them in contempt ? " replied Adhemar de 
Montauban. " Enough, Madeleine, I must go. I must 
take my place by the side of the king. I will not lurk 
here, as if I feared to avow my principles. I will not 
emigrate ; for emigration is only a cowardly desertion of 
our duty, our country, and our king. I am an aristocrat ; 
I have a name to uphold, and a property to defend, and 
the canaille shall know that I may die, but never shrink 
from the struggle." 

" Yet the poor peasants have been very miserable," 
said Madeleine ; " perhaps they only seek for justice. 
Dear Adhemar, do not call them canaille." 

" My sweet Madeleine, you argue like a woman. A 
moment since you spoke as if the blood of the rabble would 
stain my sword, and now you speak of them as very mode- 
rate, estimable people. You do not know what you want 
to say." 

" I know that I want to keep you here with me, and 
safe," said Madeleine. " For the rest, I do not understand 
anything about politics ; your vassals are happy, for you 
are very kind to them ; but on other properties near my 
convent I saw the peasants very wi-etched; they were 
starving, and yet they were obliged to work for their lords 
without payment for their labour." 

" Tush, Madeleine, you must not deduce principles 
from soHtary facts. There are a few tyrants among our 
noblesse, perhaps, but most of them are kind to their 



330 EVENINGS AT HADDON HALL. 

vassals, and considerate of their welfare; their kindness 
gives as favours all that the laws could grant as rights to 
the peasants." 

" Yet, Adhemar, it is hard to think that one must ask 
as a favour what ought to be a right ; it is dreadfol that 
the lives of thousands, or at least their welfare, should de- 
pend on the caprice of one, — yes, Adhemar, even of you." 

"Do you accuse me of oppressive conduct?" said 
Adhemar. 

" Oh no, you are too noble, too kind, to be severe to 
your dependants," said the young girl, with a look of 
ardent love and pride; then, seeing that Adhemar looked 
annoyed by her words, she changed the conversation, 
and added, " Will you not consult our grandfather, 
Adhemar ? " 

" He is in his dotage," said the Marquis de Montau- 
ban ; " I have consulted a better covmsellor, Edouard de 
Lorency. He advises me to go, — he accompanies me." 

Madeleine trembled; a deep blush passed over her 
cheek, and then it ebbed away and left her very pale. 
Her brother observed not her agitation, and he went on 
speaking with bitter energy. 

" We go, and though it may cost us our lives, yet 
we will prove that we are aristocrats and patriots also. 
Patriotism and self-interest are one in our feelings. "^^Tiat 
is the welfare of a country to a man who has nothing to 
lose by its ruin ? What is dishonour to a man who has 
no name?" 

At this moment a servant informed Adhemar that his 
lawyer was awaiting his pleasure in the library. 

" He comes to take my instructions before I leave the 
COuntr)% perhaps for ever," said the Marquis; "I would 
De Lorency were here.''* 



THE TERRACE GARDEN. 331 

Madeleine remained alone. She leaned on the pedestal 
of a sculptured vase, which was filled with some rare In- 
dian plants. Their drooping branches bent over her head, 
and their bright and perfumed flowers rested on her hair 
and on her brow. Her eyes were fixed on the setting sun, 
but her thoughts were abstracted from all around her. A 
light footstep reached ner ear — she started ; a smile played 
on her lip, and a rosy flush rose even to her temples, but 
she did not turn her head towards the terrace stairs. 
Monsieur de Lorency was at that moment descending 
those stairs. He was about thirty-five years of age, but 
be looked much older. A wound received in America had 
caused his dark bro^Ti hair to assume a touch of grey. 
His figure was very fine, but his commanding presence 
was somewhat injured by the slight stoop which always 
bent his head. A deep furrow was traced upon his broad 
and thoughtful brow, and a shade of melancholy gravity 
rested on his clear grey eyes. He was not happy. The 
last representative of a noble but fallen house, he had ex- 
perienced the neglect and the coldness of the world, and in 
return, he looked upon that vain world with haughty 
scorn ; and shrank from the pleasures of that society, in 
which he felt that he was received without a welcome. 
When chance threw him among those who were only his 
equals in birth, although more richly favoured by fortune, 
he met them with a reserve which would have repulsed 
any advance towards intimacy. Though generally silent, 
he possessed great conversational powers, but he spoke 
with a cynical bitterness which sprung from wounded 
pride and the galling feelings of high-born poverty, and 
which efifectually repelled the interest which his high cha- 
racter as a soldier, and his powerful talents as a political 
writer, would naturally have excited. 



C6.Z EVENINGS AT DADDON HALL. 

" Mademoiselle de Montauban," he said, " I come to 
take leave of you/' 

The tone of deep sorrow in which he spoke contrasted 
strangely with the cold formality of his words. After a 
pause, he added, in the same low, broken voice, " Your 
brother has told you that we must leave you to-morrow." 

" Why do you persuade him to leave me ? " said 
^ladeleine. 

They were silent once more. She still looked along 
the darkening sea, while his eyes were fixed on her with a 
look of painful thought; but though her face was half 
averted from his gaze, she felt that it was fastened upon 
her, and she dared not turn towards him. 

" Your brother asked my advice ; he placed his honour 
in my hands. Could I deceive him ? If my advice has 
caused you grief, I implore you to pardon me. And oh ! 
Mademoiselle de Montauban, do not hate me." 

" When may you retui-n ?" said Madeleine. 

" I know not," he answered. " Adhemar has hope ; 
he thinks the cause of royalty may yet triumph. I have 
no hope ; the cause is lost. Our king has no energy ; our 
nobles have deserted the country ; our priests are infidels ; 
the popular party wish for revenge for past injustice, as 
well as for the obtaining of the recognition of their own 
rights ; the royalists wish to uphold every oppressive abuse 
of law, to which they give the name of justice. How can 
peace ever arise from these discordant elements ?" 

" No, no," said Madeleine, " there can be no peace. I 
shall never see Adhemar again." 

She burst into tears, and hastily extending her hand 
to De Lorency, she murmured a few words of parting 
regret. Lorency took her hand, touched it with his lips, 
lightly, courteously, and timidly, and allowed her to leave 



THE TERRACE GARDEX. 333 

him without one word whicli could betray the truth which 
he but too deeply felt, that thus to part with her was 
worse than death. Slowly she ascended the terrace stairs ; 
when the last flutter of her white robe was lost beneath 
the gate of the castle, Lorency caught the branch of the 
ipomea which had touched her hair — he plucked it from 
the plant — he pressed it madly to his lips, and hiding it 
in his bosom, he hurried to the chateau, in search of 
Adhemar. He found him in the library with the lawyer. 

" I sent for you, Edouard, to consult you about the 
settlement of my property. My father's will fixed my 
majority on my twentieth birthday, so I have been of age 
for some months." 

" I know you have had that misfortune," said Lorency, 
trying to force his attention to the business to be laid 
before him. 

" I wdsh to secure all that I can dispose of to Made- 
leine, in the event of my dying, or, to speak more cor- 
rectly, in the event of my being killed in the civil war 
which I foresee. She requires a guardian; now my 
mother's father is almost the only relation we have living 
of her family. My father's family have quarrelled with 
me, because I announced my intention of settling every- 
thing on my sister. I will not name any of them her 
guardians. Our grandfather is already in his dotage, so 
that he cannot discharge that duty. Will you accept it ? 
It is a strange request, but you are my only friend." 

"I cannot, Adhemar — I will not !" replied Lorency. 

" You wall not ! " said Adhemar, impatiently ; then 
seeing that De Lorency was pale as death, and fearfully 
agitated, he took his arm, led hnn out on the terrace, 
and said, " Tell me, De Lorency what has agitated you 
thus?" 



834 EVENINGS AT HADDON HALL. 

" Your own words, Adhcinar. You ask me to be a 
father to your sister, to watch over her, to see her every day, 
and to sign the contract which will make her the wife of 
some man whom she may love, but who never could love 
ner as I have loved her from the moment I first saw her/' 

" She has rejected you V said Adhemar, inquiringly. 

" No ; she dreams not that I have dared to love her. 
I will not pain her by confessing the misery she has 
inflicted. I am too proud to acknowledge a hopeless 
love, even to Madeleine." 

" Hopeless ! I do not think it hopeless," said Adhe- 
mar ; " a w^oman might love you, if you loved her, but I 
never could have suspected you of so much condescension. 
Your pride " 

" What has pride to do with love ?" said Lorency. 
" My pride is the consciousness that I love her more than 
life; more than all, except my honour. She is young; I 
am old. You have shown me how old I am, by asking 
me to be her guardian ; her father, as it were. I am 
poor; she is rich. I will not tell her what anguish 
she has caused me." 

Adhemar made no answer. He left the Baron de 
Lorency upon the terrace, and sought Madeleine in her 
dressing-room, where he heard she was sitting. Her head 
was bent upon the cushions of the sofa, over which her 
hair hung in disordered tresses. At the sound of Adhe- 
mar 's voice she looked up, but large tears stood gathered 
on her eyelids. Adhemar drew her to his breast. " Ma- 
deleine," he said, fondly, " Edouard de Lorency loves you ; 
but he fears that you would banish him from your pre- 
sence, if he dared to confess it. Will you forgive his 
presumption for my sake, and allow him to plead his 
own cause?" 



THE TERBACK GARDEN. 335 

" I knew thi t he loved me," said Madeleine, hiding 
her face upon her brother's shoulder, " and yet he was so 
cold and so distant, that he made me very unhappy. I 
could not speak to him when he treated me so coldly, and 
then I saw that he was hurt and miserable ; and yet it was 
not my fault." 

Adhemar kissed his sister once more, and returned 
to De Lorency, who was pacing the terrace in extreme 
agitation. 

" I have seen Madeleine," said Adhemar ; " she has 
long known that you loved her." 

" And therefore she treated me with cold disdain,'"' said 
Edouard; " I knew that my love was madness." 

"Must I offer her hand to you?" said Adhemar. 
" Go to her, plead your cause, and come back to me when 
she has given you your sentence." 

Half in desperation, half in hope, De Lorency sought 
Madeleine. The conscious blush and the unconscious 
smile which greeted him when he spoke to her, answered 
all his doubts. He threw himself on his knees at her feet, 
and poured forth his love, his hopes, his fears, and his joy. 
Before Adhemar interrupted him, he had told her the story 
of his life. She was his first and his only love ; and she 
had promised to repay the years of suffering he had en- 
dured, by a whole life of happmess. Adhemar was de- 
lighted. Edouard was his only friend, and he was now 
the guardian of Madeleine, so that he was freed from a 
great responsibility, and Madeleine was secure in a hus- 
band's protection. 

The will of the late Marquis de Montauban had fixed 
the twentieth birthday of Adhemar as that on which he 
should come of age; it had also given to Madeleine a 
noble fortune, coupled with a condition that she should 



536 EVKN'INGS AT HADDON H.M.L. 

not iiiari'v until she, too, had attained her twentieth year 
Adhemar and Dc Lorency, therefore, left the chateau im- 
mediately after the fian(,'ailles of the Baron with Madeleine. 
She remained alone with her mother's father, who had 
long lived with his irrandchildrcn. Months passed on 
slowly, sadly, over the lonely chateau. Tiie smile faded 
from Madeleine's lip, and the bloom withered from her 
soft cheek ; her step lost its elasticity, and her low voice 
took a sadder tone. Her grandfather had sunk into the 
utter imbecility of extreme old age. She watched over 
him with patient tenderness, soothing the fretfulness tif 
his feeble mind with gentle fondness. She busied herself 
much amongst the peasantry of her brother's estates ; her 
charity relieved their wants, and her assistance was ever 
ready to second the efforts of their industry. Their grati- 
tude rewarded her kindness, and while political miseries 
destroyed the peace of all around, there was prosperity and 
quiet on the territories of Adhemar de Muntauban. These 
occupations filled her days, but still she was unhappy. 
Her brother and her betrothed lover were far fvom her, 
exposed to every danger, and resolved to share t(^ *he last 
the perils of their fallen sovereigns. Day by dny IMade- 
leine watched and waited for the hour which brcug'it her 
letters with a sinking heart and a dread wiiich was almost 
despair, for each day might bring the announcement of 
the arrest or death of those she loved. And wh^n their 
gloomy and hopeless letters came, they gave no happiness, 
for they could only tell of escape from the dangers of one 
day, and promised no safety for the morrow. 

At length, the flight, capture, and imprisonment of the 
royal family, left Adhemar and Lorency at liberty to re- 
turn to the chateau De Montauban. Madeleine was happy 
once more. Neither Adhemar ncT Edouard had been 



THE TERRACE GARDEN. 337 

denounced by the republicans ; they hved quite alone, re- 
ceived no visits, and busied themselves in the construction 
of a small harbour at a point where Adhemar^s land joined 
those which still remained in the possession of De Lorency. 
This harbour was of the utmost advantage to the fishermen 
of the coast, and they were grateful to the IMarquis, who 
had undertaken the work at his sole expense. Adhemar^s 
tenantry loved him ; De Lorency^s were equally attached 
to him, although his poverty had hitherto restricted the 
exercise of his charity among them. The cures of both 
parishes had taken the constitutional oaths ; the municipal 
oflScers of the commune were Adhemar's dependants ; so 
that everything seemed to promise them safety dui'ing th 
troubled times which were fast approaching. 

The Reign of Terror desolated France, but as yet the 
family of Montauban had escaped. Madeleine^s twentieth 
birthday was at hand, and she had promised Edouard to 
give him her hand upon that day. At length the day 
came, and Madeleine was conducted to the municipality by 
her brother. De Lorency awaited them there. The legal 
ceremony was performed, and De Lorency returned with 
his bride to the chateau, where the cure was to perform 
the religious ceremony at the altar of the old chapel. 

Greatly were they astonished when they learned that 
the priest had not arrived. He had not sent a letter, nor 
even a message, of explanation. De Lorency ordered a 
horse to be saddled, and instantly mounting, rode to the 
house of the cure. He was not there ; he had left home 
early, saying that he would visit some sick persons, and 
then proceed to the chateau. De Lorency returned to the 
chateau. A vague feeling of alarm spread from one to the 
other ; even the aged servants of the house shared in the 
undefined apprehension. The evening came at length.. 

z 



338 EVENINGS AT 11 ADDON HALL. 

Acllii'iiiar, acconliiig to liis custom, was playing draughts 
with his grandfather, which was the only amusement "ii 
which the jK)or okl man still found pleasure. De Lorency 
and his bride walked out upon the terrace. The night was 
beautiful, a moonlit summer night, and Edouard led her 
down to the shore. The bright waves curled playfully 
over the base of the low terrace ; the perfumes of the 
garden flowers filled the air, and the nightingales answered 
each other from the trees. A deep-hushed quiet reigned 
over all around ; and as Edouard's arm encircled the form 
of his bride, as his low voice whis])ered vows of passionate 
love, Madeleine forgot the vague ap])rehensions which had 
haunted her during the day, and surrendered her soul to 
hope and happiness. 

" Tell me that you love me, Madeleine ! — oh, tell me 
once more that you love me ! I can scarcely believe in my 
hap])incss." 

" You know that I nmst love you now, Edouard ; it is 
my duty," said Madeleine, playfully, while unconsciously 
and fondly she clasped her hand in his. 

" Coquette ! is it thus you play with my love?" said 
Edouard, in the same joyous tone of perfect happiness. 
" Nay, dearest Madeleine — " He paused, and instinctively 
he clasped her more closely to his breast; for at that mo- 
ment a dark speck appeared amid the moonlight on the 
water. It came quickly on ; it was a boat. It was pulled 
by one man, but aided by the wind it darted quickly over 
the waves, and in a few minutes its keel grated on the 
sand beneath the terrace. The boatman sj)rung upon the 
terrace, and De Lorency recognised the good-natured, 
honest Pierre Iluguenin, tlie IMayor of the commune, and 
one of the most attached of Adhemar's tenants. 

" Monsieur de Lorency, I come to warn you. A party 



THE TERRACE GARDEN. 339 

of p;ens-d^armes from Marseilles have arrived at my house ; 
ihvy have seized the poor cure, and have orders to arrest 
you and the MarquJr Fly while you have some hope of 
escape ; cross the frontier into Italy.^' 

Madeleine sank almost fainting on the steps of the ter- 
race. The hardy peasant looked upon her with sorrowful 
compassion. He had that morning united her to him who 
now knelt beside her in mute despair. The orange wreath 
was yet unfaded on her brow, and yet, ere morning dawned, 
they should part, perhaps for ever ! De Lorency felt that 
the bitterness of death was crushed into that one thought. 

" Monsieur, call the Marquis ; I dare not venture into 
the chateau ; all your servants may not be true to you.^^ 

Casting one look of agony upon his bride, Edouard 
ascended the terrace stairs ; in a moment he returned 
with Adhemar. 

" You have been denounced, Monsieur le Marquis, and 
accused of maintaining a correspondence with the emigres. 
The gens-d^armes arrived at my house about two hours 
since; they brought in the priest, whom they arrested upon 
the road from Marseilles. While they went to search his 
house, I got away, and came across the bay to warn you 
of your danger. Do you suspect any of your dependants 
of thus betraying you ?" 

" I have never confided a single secret to any of my 
people," said the IMarquis, " therefore none of them could 
betray me. This is a groundless charge, and I know the 
inventor of it. Boileau, my attorney, is the traitor. 1 
detected some unfair charges in his last account, and 
therefore, about a week since, I dismissed him from my 
employment." 

" He has been in close conference with the oiBcer of 
the party at my house," said the Mayor Huguenin 



3K) EVENINGS AT HADDON HALL. 

'' Now, farewell ; saddle your fleetest horses and fly to 
the frontier. I will conceal jMademoiselle Madeleine in 
my house ; she will be safe as if she were in a ehapel." 

" No, she shall share our fate/' said De Lorency; " it 
would be cruelty to leave her alone, even in safety ; fear 
for us would kill her. Leave us, Huguenin ; you may be 
compromised; for our safety you have risked your own." 

" No danger for me," said the Mayor; " they know the 
attachment of your tenantry, and, to avoid all danger of a 
rescue, they will not visit the chateau till midnight. Their 
intention of arresting you is kept a secret. I was not 
informed of it Ijy any of them, but I overheard the con- 
versation of the officer with Boileau. And now, farewell!" 
be said, as the Marquis gratefully wrung his hand. 

At that moment the tramp of horses was heard rapidly 
approaching. Huguenin hastily pushed off his skiff, and 
])ulled her round into the shadow of the rocks. 

" Fly, Madeleine ; Huguenin will protect you," said 
Adhemar, thinking only of her safety. 

" Never ! " replied Madeleine ; " I will share your fate, 
your prison, or your grave. AVhat have I on earth but 
you?" And as she spoke, she took her brother's hand, and 
the hand of her husband, and clasped them to her breast. 

"Madeleine, my own in life and death!" exclaimed 
De Lorency. 

Slowly, and yet firmly they returned to the chateau. 
It was already in the possession of the police. They had 
assembled the domestics in the saloon, where the old Mar- 
quis de Laferte was seated beside the deep chinmey, where, 
as was his pleasure, a lire was burning, although it was 
summer. lie looked from one to the other of the strange 
faces round him with a childish terror, and seemed to fee) 
the presence of dangers which his feeble mind could no* 



THE TERRACE r.ARDKN. 341 

anderstan 1. Madeleine placed herself by his side ; and 
there they sat, helpless age and defenceless innocence, alike 
unrespected by the tyrants of the hour, De Lorency was 
calm, though his eyes were fixed on his bride with a loolc 
which spoke all the anguish of his disappointed hopes of 
happiness. Adhemar de Montauban stood proudly amidst 
his enemies, and his haughty and searching glance turned 
from one to the other, until it rested on the traitor Boileau 
with an expression of bitter scorn. The traitor did not 
quail ; he was triumphant, and he felt no regrets. The 
oflScer commanding the detachment seemed somewhat em- 
barrassed ; he saluted Adhemar with courtesy, and with 
evident reluctance informed him that he was his prisoner. 

He was a young man, and he shrank from witnessing 
the misery which he had unwillingly inflicted. Adhemar 
almost pitied him. 

"My sister will accompany us. Monsieur?^' he said. 

"I have received no orders respecting Mademoiselle," 
replied the officer. " You and M. de Lorency alone are 
named in my orders." 

" To what prison are we to be conveyed ? " 

"To Lyons," said the officer. That word contained 
the sentence of death . 

Adhemar turned suddenly to Boileau, and said, bitterly, 
" Traitor ! why are you here V 

A few words from the officer of the gens-d'armes ex- 
plained all. Boileau had received from the Comite de la 
Surete publique a commission resembling that of Canier 
and Lebon. He was thus arbiter of the destiny of his 
former master. Adhemar had doubted his probity; he 
had dismissed him with contempt from his employment, 
and he was now at his mercy. 

De Lorency stood in silent despair near Madeleine^ 
who had sunk back fainting upon her chair. 



342 



EVKMXGS AT IIAUUOX HALL. 



" Monsieur," said Adhemar, " will you permit my 
sister to share our prison ?" 

The young officer hesitated, spoke to Boileau in a low 
voice, and said, " I dare not exceed my instructions. 1 
will retire for a few minutes, as you may wish to take 
leave of your family." 

He left the room, followed by his men ; the terror- 
stricken servants also retired to the outer hall, but Eoileau 
remained, as if he would enjoy the misery of his victims. 
He seated himself coolly, and fixed his eyes inquiringly on 
Madeleine. De Lorency saw not, heard not, knew not 
aught that passed around him. His soul, his senses, every 
faculty of his mind, every feeling, was absorbed in his love 
and his despair. He drew Madeleine to his breast, and 
covered her pale brow with kisses, while he strove to recall 
her to consciousness by the fondest vows of impassioned 
love. Adhemar pointed to Boileau, and said with an 
expression of contemptuous disgust, " De Lorency, take 
Madeleine from this chamber, which is now unworthy 
of her presence." 

" Stay, Citoyen Lorency," said Boileau; "■ La fille 
j\Iontauban must hear what I have to say to her. The 
destiny of all present will depend on her reply." 

" Hence, Madeleine, this is no place for you," said 
De Lorency, as he felt that she attempted to extricate 
herself from his arms. 

" Your fate depends on my answer," said ^ladeleine ; 
and suddenly recovering her clear reason, with the noble 
energy of woman's self-devoted love, she placed herself be- 
fore Boileau, and said, " Speak ! I am ready to hear you." 

" Your brother disgraced me ; he deprived me of the 
employment by which I lived; I have obtained my re- 
venge. He never trusted me, but I suspected his corre- 
spondence with the emigres. I tracked his messengers; 



THE TERRACE GARDEN. 343 

I know all ; I have a copy of his last letter to Cohleutz ; 
but though his life is in my hands, you can save him if 
you vi^ill. Consent to be my wife, and I will desti'oy the 
proofs against your brother, and even facilitate his escape. 
His estates must be forfeited, but his life will be safe." 

Madeleine could not speak. Boileau continued, calmly 
and unpityingly, " I know you love that man ; he, too, 
shall be saved. Now I leave you ; in half an hour I 
return to you, then I must receive your answer." 

" Hear it now — I am the wife of Monsieur de Lorency ! " 

"A ceremony can be set aside," said Boileau. "Con- 
sult together, and decide." 

He left the room. Adhemar laughed bitterly. " Con- 
sult, and decide," he said. " An honourable consultation, 
truly ! He ])roposes to dishonour my sister, to rob me of 
my lands, to brand me as a coward; for none but a coward 
would accept life purchased at such a price." 

De Lorency silently took from his pocket-book the 
certificate of his legal marriage with Madeleine ; with a 
quivering lip he read it over, and then let it fall into the 
fire. Adhemar sprang forward to snatch it from the 
flame, but it was too late. 

"Madeleine," said De Lorency, "you are free; save 
your brother, if you can ; sacrifice yourself — think not of 
me. I have death in my power ; I need but say before 
my judges, ' Vive le Roi,^ and I shall escape from my 
tortures." 

"Madeleine," said Adhemar; "Madeleine, hear me. 
I am not happy ; I loved, and was betrayed. She whom 
I loved with the whole burning passion of a virgin hcarl , 
deserted me. She married another, more powerful, more 
wealthy; I need not name them ; she became a duchess. 
I met her again ; love, hatred, revenge were busy in m^ 



3 H- EVENINGS AT IIADDON HALL. 

bosom; my lilc was a hell upon cartli. Tiie syren spread 
her snares lor me ; I sacrificed my conscience, my honour, 
all for her. I deceived her husband, and he was my 
friend; I outraged heaven, I braved hell, for that woman ; 
I tliought her very treachery to the man whose name she 
bore was truth to me. Fool ! dupe that I was ! She 
gratified her vanity by my public subjection to her ca- 
prices, and then she discarded me. Since then, as you 
know, I have led a life of expiation for my career of 
guilt. I have only sought to fulfil my duties, — I love 
not life ; let me die !" 

Boilcau entered the room : he approached Madeleine, 
and asked her to inform him of her decision. 

" Take our estates — take all — but spare their lives ; I 
cannot marry you ! " 

" Without your hand I should have no title to the 
estates ; and more than this, where were my revenge ? 
Your brother disgraced me; the disgrace must recoil on 
himself through you. Once more, girl, choose ; will you 
save them ?" 

" I am Edouard's wife ; I cannot save them ! " said 
Madeleine, in agony. She sank upon the floor ; De 
Lorency raised her in his arms and carried her into 
another room. 

" Madeleine ! my own Madeleine ! it were worse than 
death to resign ycju to another. In a few days I shall be 
murdered by those demons at Lyons. Swear to me never 
to wed another ; let me carry your love to the grave." 

" I swear it !" said Madeleine ; "but can you doubt it? 
Could I give to another the faith I have pledged to you ? 
But we shall not be parted for ever ; I cannot outlive you, 
my love is a part of my life." 

"De Lorency, they call us," said Adhemar. lie 



THE TERRACE GARDEN. 345 

clasped his sisLCr to his breast, and rushed o-iit of the 
room. The agony of that moment was unfelt by Madeleine ; 
she had fainted. Edouard's hot tears fell upon her death-like 
cheek, as he pressed his lips to hers in one last kiss. He 
laid her on the sofa ; he cut off one long curl of her hair, 
and thrust it into his bosom ; then cutting off a lock of 
his own hair, he laid it beside her; and not daring to 
linger, lest she should return to the consciousness of her 
misery, he hurried from the castle. 

Days, weeks passed on, and brought no ray of hope to 
Madeleine. Her heart was broken ; her youth was blighted ; 
her beauty withered ; but her mind was calm, and her 
courage had risen to the energy of desperation. She 
seemed to live apart from the things of the world ; the 
only tie that still bound her to life was the care of her 
helpless grandfather. The estates of the Marquis were con- 
fiscated, and ]\Iadeleine and the old man were driven out into 
the world, without a home, without support save from the 
charity of the former vassals of their house. Huguenin re- 
ceived them ; he served them like a menial, and was almost 
grieved when Madeleine thanked him for his kindess. 

The old Marquis had not known the danger which 
surrounded his family for many months. Even the arrest 
of the friends had made no impression on his feeble mind ; 
they were absent, but he heeded it not, as their visits to 
Paris had accustomed him to their absence. His removal 
from the chateau had at once aroused him from his 
unconsciousness; he felt that danger and sorrow were 
around him, and he trembled like a timid child awaking 
alone in the darkness of the night. He clung to Madeleine 
with touching dependence. He was wretched if she left 
him for a moment. He would often say to her, " ^ATiere is 
Adhemar? where is Edouard? Write to them, Madeleine; 



316 EVENINGS AT llADUON ii.xLL, 

tell thcni to come hoiue to-iiiorrovv. Why have they left 
me alone?" 

And Madeleine would seek to soothe his fretful impa- 
tience, and then retire to hide the bitter tears that answered 
his vain appeal. 

At length the old man's life seemed to decay. Gradu- 
ally he sunk towards the grave. Before he had been one 
month in Hugucnin's house, he died. Madeleine watched 
by his side. He died without pain. No priest could 
attend the bed of death, but Madeleine prayed for the 
parting soul. 

Madeleine saw him laid in the grave, among the 
mouldering crosses in the village churchyard. The turf 
was laid on again, and the peasants stood round in silence. 
Madeleine looked on them with a sad smile of resignation. 

" My friends," she said, " you have been very kind. I 
cannot thank you. ^lay Heaven reward you here and 
hereafter ! " The tears burst from her eyes, and she sunk 
on her knees upon the new-made grave. The paroxysm 
did not last long. She dried her tears, and rose from the 
sod. " I am free now — farewell ! — I go to Lyons." 

Huguenin tried to dissuade her from this resolution. 
She was firm, and he was obliged to yield. He could only 
place her under the care of the post-oflSce courier, convey- 
ing letters to Lyons. That night she left Montauban. 

Lyons — La ville aifranchie — Lyons, whose very name 
had been blotted from the map of France, was then suffer- 
ing all the horrors that the diabolical cruelty of republican 
vengeance could inflict. Day after day, wholesale execu- 
tions decimated the population. The Place de Terreaux 
rivalled the Place de Greve in its horrible celebrity ; but 
there was this difference : the people of Lyons looked on 
in terror, because they dared not shun the spectacle ; the 



THE TERRACE GARDEN. 347 

mob of Paris went to see executions performed, and 
looked on the Greve as the Spaniards do on the bull-ring, 
or as the Romans did on the arena. At Lyons, the 
executions were not so well performed, as some of the 
Parisian amateurs said. The victims were shot at the side 
of their common grave. Sometimes the firing party missed 
their mark, and, instead of mortal wounds, some were 
only slightly hurt. They were despatched with the 
bayonet. Then all were thrown into the grave, and the 
earth cast back on the yet warm bodies of the victims. 

Madeleine was placed by the courier in the house of 
Huguenin's sister, the wife of an officer in the garrison , 
JMadeleine was therefore safe in her protection. Day by 
day she visited the Com-t of the revolutionary tribunal ; 
she wandered round the prisons, to which she had tried in 
vain to obtain admittance. She followed the condemned, 
as they went out to death, but she saw not those she 
sought. Were they already dead ? It was a fearful 
doubt. If she could but see them once more, even on the 
verge of the grave ! 

One day, as she returned from the place of death, a 
man called her by name ; she stopped — and Boileau was at 
her side. 

"To-morrow you will see them. I have purchased 
Montauban. I shall be rid of my rival to-morrow, and 
I will forgive your refusal, and take you home, if you 
consent." 

Madeleine laughed a wild maniac laugh, and turned 
from him without speaking. She was almost maddened 
at that moment. 

" She is mad ! " he muttered, as he pursued his way ; 
" and yet, how beautiful she is, after all ! " 

Madeleine did not return to her friends that night. 



348 EVENINGS AT HADDON HALL. 

" To-iiiorro\< " — it was lier only thought ! the Place dc 
TciTcaux, her only world ! She sat on a stone — the hours 
passed on unheeded; the silence, the cold night air, 
calmed her fever; her mind became clear; her thoughts 
were solemn, but not despairing. 

Day dawned slowly over the devoted city. Madeleine 
knelt and prayed. How long she remained on her knees in 
prayer, she knew not. The measured tread of the soldiers 
and the roll of the cart-wheels called back her thoughts to 
earth. The grave was already dug — the soldiers took 
their ground — the condemned were placed on the verge of 
the grave, about to receive them. Adhemar and De 
Lorency were there, calm, proud, unmoved, as if they 
were upon an ordinary parade; with their hands clasjicd 
in the last pressure of brotherly love, they waited for death. 
Madeleine sprang forward, burst through the ranks of the 
soldiers guarding the prisoners, and sank at the feet of 
her husband and her brother. 

" I am come, I am come," she murmured ; " Heaven 
has heard my prayers. We shall die together." 

"Heaven is merciful," said De Lorency. He raised 
her to his breast, and then looked up to Heaven with 
unspeakable thankfulness. Still clasped in De Lorency's 
embrace, Madeleine placed her arm round Adhemar's 
neck, and drew him towards her. No one thought of 
separating them. One victim more was nothing Tliey 
repeated together one short prayer, and then calmly 
awaited death. Not a hand quivered — not an eye quailed. 
The word was given ; "Vive le Roi !" cried the victims. 
The report of the muskets di'owned their voices. All was 
over ! 



CONSCIENCE. 349 

The next picture which the Lady Eva had chosen for 
the close of the Fifth Evening's seance, v.as one which 
had, more than any other, puzzled her own fancy as to a 
fitting theme for its illustration ; and she had, in her pretty 
perplexity, handed it to an admired and popular writer, 
whose pen had equally distinguished itself in prose and 
verse — whose active fancy and powerful imagination had 
shown themselves capable of evoking " sermons from stones, 
and good from everything." 

But the reqTiest was fruitless; his prose muse w^as 
" not i' the vein," and his poetical one had already pro- 
mised an illustration of a drawing reserved for the con- 
cluding evening's sitting. 

In this dilemma the Lady Eva turned to the lady 
whose imagination had already illustrated two designs, 
chosen during a previous evening ; * and an appeal, from 
which there was no appeal, presently produced the tale 
entitled 

CONSCIENCE. 

The Chateau of Riechoffen is situated on a steep 
eminence, six leagues from Strasburgh. Its park and 
gardens are the admiration of the neighbom-hood ; and 
few travellers are allowed to pass through the village of 
Riechoffen without being asked to visit the superb chateau. 
To the lover of the picturesque, the surrounding park, or 
rather, the two parks, which form part of this rich domain, 
offer much to excite admiration ; while to the amateur and 
connoisseur, the valuable paintings, the splendid carvings, 
and the countless objects of virtii, which enrich the 

* " The Fortunes of the Glengary," pajje 90. 



350 EVENINGS AT IIADDON HALL. 

interior of the chateau, render an admission within its 
walls a matter of great interest. Two days in the week 
are set apart for the reception of strangers; but the 
urbanity of its present venerable owner, the good and pious 
Count liiechoffen, renders admittance easy to all travellers 
who, pressed for time, cannot wait for the appointed j)ublic 
days. 

The Count and his beloved partner were for many years 
regarded as friends by all their vassals; and when the 
death of the Countess cut short the domestic happiness of 
their lord, not an eye in the village but wept for the loss 
of one so endeared to them ; not a family for leagues 
round that did not sympathize in a grief, which they felt, 
from the Count's age and character, must be irreparable. 

The only child of their marriage — the Count Wilhelm 
— was absent at the time of his mother's death ; and though 
he hastened home on the sad news reaching him, he did not 
long remain with his widowed father ; and as his absences 
from Riechoffen were supposed to be errands of pleasure, 
people marvelled that he did not, after this mournful event, 
remain to share his father's solitude. 

Whatever might be that father's feelings on his son's 
departure, he never betrayed either surprise or anger in 
speaking of it. Indeed, few were admitted to his presence 
during the first year of his widowhood ; the chajilain, who 
lived in the chateau, was his only companion ; the closet 
adjoining the chapel, where reposed the remains of his lost 
wife, his habitual dwelling-place. During this period of 
mourning, the gates of the domain were closed to all 
visitors ; but after the year had passed, the Count received 
a few friends, and strangers were again permitted, on two 
appointed days in each week, to view the chateau — all but 
the closet and chapel, to the former of which the Count 



CONSCIENCE. 351 

always repaired during the hours in which company were 
admitted to the other parts of this superb edifice. 

During Count Wilhelm's second visit to his home, 
which took place three years after the death of his mother. 
he mentioned his wish to marry, and confided to his father 
that the object of his attachment, an Italian lady, though 
rich in youth and loveliness, was without fortune. The 
Count RiechofiFen received this intelligence with unfeigned 
pleasure ; and the lady's want of fortune was agreeable to 
him ; for, aware of the sordid avarice which disfigured his 
son's character, and rendered him unlike either of his 
noble parents, such a proof of disinterested attachment 
delighted him, and putting his arm afi'ectionately round 
his son's neck, he said — 

" A bride of your choice, my dear Wilhelm, wants no 
adventitious aid of fortune to ensure her the welcome of a 
daughter in my heart. Pure and good, I feel she must 
be ; or my son would never have chosen her to succeed 
his mother, as misti-ess here." 

" But she will not live here," replied Wilhelm. " The 
thought of this cold clime frightens her ; our rude sports 
would terrify her. Born and educated in her own sunny 
land, she would be lost in this cheerless abode, where 
neither the charm of music nor the sound of revelry are 
heard." 

The Count Riechoffen's tall form seemed to dilate, his 
usually pale cheek became sufi"used with the crimson 
flush of anger, his voice was less firm than usual, as he 
replied — 

" My son, have you forgot the sad loss which hushed 
the glad and happy sounds that for many years were 
wont to resound within these walls ? Could revelry have 
intruded into the house of mourning? Since your angel 
mother's spirit ceased to bless this abode, what has it beer 



352 EVENINGS AT HADHON HALL. 

to Die and to yoursclt' but a place of solitude and dc'so]a« 
tion ? Wdhelm, the object of your love is an orphan . 
what ties can she have to keep her from her husband's 
j)atcrnal home ? Your mother, my j)eerless Therese, left 
parents and other kindred to share the home which, by 
her love and the bright excellence of her character, she 
rendered for nearly thirty years a blessed and a hapjjy one. 
l\Iy son, I would not be harsh, but I must not conceal 
my opinion from j-du, that the woman who regards and 
esteems a man sufficiently to entrust her happiness to his 
care, should have no minor reserves of climate and of 
dwelling. Where her husband^s duties call him, there 
should be her sunshine ; and, methinks," added the Count, 
looking round the rich apartment in which this conver- 
sation took place, and extending his glance over the broad 
domain seen from the open window, " it were no difficult 
task for the most fastidious and refined in taste to recon- 
cile themselves to this spot." 

Wilhelm perceived that this was no moment to pursue 
the point ; and though firmly resolved never to relinquish 
the charms and pleasures of an Italian residence, he saw 
the necessity of concealing this determination for the i)re- 
sent, and therefore replied — 

" It must be my task, as it will be my interest, to 
erase from Giuditta's mind all the gloomy impressions it 
has conceived of our German austerities, both of climate 
and manners." 

" Bring her here at once," interrupted his father, " and 
she shall not have to complain of a German welcome. 
These halls shall once more echo with mirth and song! 
It is her son's bridal I would keep," he added, in a tone 
as if intended for his own car alone, " and her pure spirit 
will hover round us ! " 

J\othing could exceed the liberalitv w'th which the 



CONSCIENCE. 353 

noble Count RiechofFen provided for his son's establish- 
ment on his marriage. Besides the income he settled on 
him, which was an independence, he caused a suite of 
rooms in the chateau to be newly decorated and set apart 
for his and his bride's use, and the lonely widower was 
seen again to smile as he talked of the approaching arrival 
of his children. But this was an event long protracted, 
and for many months excuse followed upon excuse. 

On one of the public days, the Count Riechoffen, who 
had retired, as was his wont, to the closet adjoining the 
chapel, was surprised, on passing from it into his library, 
to find seated on the carpet, and playing with some flowers, 
of which she was making a garland, a little girl, apparently 
about three years old. As the Count approached, the 
child looked up. Her dark hazel eyes filled with tears, 
her cheeks assumed a deeper hue, but as if trying to per- 
suade herself not to be frightened, she said, " Mamma, 
come back ! " 

The Count stooped down and endeavoured to take her 
hand, but she withdrew it ; and, no longer able to control 
her emotion at the presence of a stranger, burst into tears. 
For a long time she sobbed as if her little heart would 
break, occasionally screaming, " Mamma, mamma, come 
and take Rese away ! " The Count Riechoffen, distressed 
at the child's agitation, knew not what to devise to calm 
her. He did not summon aid, for fear of still further 
alarming her by the entrance of another stranger. At 
length he asked, would she go with him and look for 
mamma ? The child nodded assent, but still cried bitterly; 
and thus they proceeded into the garden, but no mother 
was to be found. The child kept running wildly from 
side to side, till, quite exhausted, she sank on the grass, 
and nothing but her hushed sobs were to be heard. Day 

A A 



354 EVENINGS AT IIADDtIN HALL. 

was closing; the Count watched over he. till she fell 
asleep, and then, lifting her in his arms, he bore lier 
gently to the house, summoned his late wife's maid, and 
gave orders that the child should be taken care of, and put 
to bed. 

The strange truth had flashed across Count Riechof- 
fen's mind — some cruel mother must have left that sweet 
child, never meaning to return. At first, his heart was 
full of indignation and bitterness against the parent ; 
but some good angel whispered him that perhaps some 
wretched mother, heart-broken and forsaken, had com- 
mitted her only treasure to his protection, and might even 
then be dying — her last earthly thought, a hope that he 
would befriend her innocent babe. " Poor, wretched 
mother ! " he exclaimed ; " what must have been the suf- 
fering and the grief which could have induced thee to part 
with such a child!" And from that hour Count lliechof- 
fen felt an affection for the hapless creature he supposed 
to have been cast by Providence on his care. So true it is 
that, in a noble breast, pity is ever allied to love. 

For some days the little girl continued to weep at 
intervals, and to run from room to room searching for her 
mother ; but as time wore on, her childish grief gradually 
subsided, and she no longer looked on Count lliechoffen 
with terror, but received with pleasure his warm caress. 
The name by which she called herself completed her con- 
quest of the Count's affection. Therese, the name of his 
lost — his idolized wife, could not be heard or uttered by 
him witii indifference. 

AVeek after week and month after month passed, and 
yet Wilhelm and his bride arrived not. This delay had 
at first grieved the Count, but the current of his thoughts 
had been changed; his warm and affectionate heart had 



CONSCIENCE. 6oD 

found another interest, and he had become so attached 
to the little Therese that she was seldom allowed to leave 
his side. On the evening that he had discovered the poor 
little girl in the library, he had summoned to his presence 
the old housekeeper, whose office it was to do the honours 
of the chateau, and recount all its wonders and all its 
riches to visitors. But she had retired early to rest, in 
consequence of some slight indisposition. He was, there- 
fore, forced to content himself with a message from her, to 
the effect that she had not noticed the entrance of any 
child among the crowd of strangers who had that day 
visited the chateau. 

A governess had been engaged for the little Therese 
before Wilhelm and his bride arrived ; and as the Count 
Riechoffen did not care to expose his little favourite to 
the haughty indiiFerence of his daughter-in-law, she never 
appeared in the reception-rooms during their residence, 
which did not exceed six months. 

Much as Count Riechoffen had desired to love his son's 
wife, and anxious as he had felt to propitiate her regard, 
not a symptom of affection, not a trait of attachment, 
rewarded his constant solicitude for her comfort. The 
Countess Wilhelm was not even respectful or courteous to 
her husband's father. She was a spoiled and capi'icious 
beauty, without one redeeming quality of heart or mind. 
Her lapdog was her idol ; her Italian waiting-woman her 
companion and intimate. The respect entertained by a 
populous neighbourhood for this noble family, and the 
veneration in which the late Countess's memory was held, 
induced every one to proffer civility and attention to her 
son's wife ; but Giuditta's manner was either so imperious 
and reserved, or so supercilious and impertinent, that she 



356 ETENINGS AT HADDON HALL. 

became detested and shunned by all the ladies in the 
neighbourhood. 

Her husband, over whom she tyrannized with all the 
little cuiming of an ignorant and uneducated woman, 
seemed completely weary of her, and would make long and 
distant excursions from home, under the pretext of wild- 
boar hunting, but, in reality, as was evident to his father, 
to escape from Giuditta's silly persecution, and Count 
Riechoffeu saw them depart on their return to Italy, from 
the home which he had fitted up for their permanent 
abode, without one feeling of regret ; and when he again 
saw his lovely adopted child, his innocent and pure- 
minded Thercse, enjoying herself and running, with child- 
ish "-Ice, through the suite of rooms she had been for- 
bidden to approach during their stay, he felt that on the 
child of a stranger, — the child, perhaps, of shame — the 
forsaken one of its mother — on that child did the aged 
Count feel that his happiness deix-ndcd, far more than on 
his own and only son. 

We will pass over the years of Thercse's childhood and 
her early girlhood, during which time no inquiry had 
been made for her, and no clue presented itself to discover 
who she might be. With her growth the beauty of The- 
rese increased, and at sixteen she was one of the most 
lovely beings ever beheld. Rather above the middle 
stature, she was slight, but gracefully ])roportioned. Mer 
fairy hands and rounded arm, her swan-like throat and 
beauteous shoulders, might have inspired the poet, and 
offered a study to the sculptor. Her small and finely- 
shaped head lent another charm; and the expression of 
her dark and melting eyes betrayed tlie meekness and 
mild benignity of her disposition. The aff"eetion, the ten- 



CONSCIENCE. 357 

(tier and watchfu assiduity, which marked the couduct of 
Therese to her benefactor, was beautiful to contemplate. 
The joyous innocence of her heart imparted freshness to 
his feelings, and her young and ardent nature seemed half 
reflected on his care-worn and dispirited countenance. 
They were all in all to each other. Therese remembered 
no other affection, and Count Riechoffen had found all 
that remained to him on earth weak when compared to 
his fondness for this sweet and loving child. 

About this period the monotony of their lives was 
broken by letters from Italy, stating the dangerous and 
hopeless illness of the Countess Wilhelm, who had impru- 
dently swallowed a large draught of some iced beverage 
immediately after dancing. The next post told of her 
death, and announced Wilhelm's intention of bringing her 
remains for interment in the family vault beneath the 
chapel. 

Count Riechoffen had never mentioned Therese in 
his letters to his son, and therefore, when the mournful 
processi(m arrived, he judged it best that she should not 
appear till the solemn rites had been concluded, and he 
had acquainted his son with her residence at the chateau. 

There was such a change in Wilhelm's appearance, 
that his father became alarmed on seeing him, and again 
his former tenderness for the child of his departed wife 
was resuming its sway; but the unbecoming manner in 
which he received his father's confidence respecting The- 
rese, the coarse and unfeeling remarks he uttered, sent 
back the warm stream of returning love to the old man's 
heart, and he turned to the gentle Therese with yet fonder 
affection, as he exclaimed, " How different would have been 
my sainted wife's conduct ! Alas ! how unworthy is Wil- 
helm to have been her son ! " 



3o8 EVENINGS AT IIADDON' HALL. 

Count Wilhclm's residence at the chateau was of short 
duration ; but he proposed to return in the winter, and 
asked permission to bring with him a young man whose 
father had, some years before, on his death-bed, confided 
him to his care, leaving Wilhehn sole executor and trustee 
to the very large fortune he would inherit on attaining his 
majority. A little less than a year was still wanting ere 
this event would take place, and his guardian expressed a 
wish that it should be passed under his guidance. 

Count RiechofFen acquiesced in this proposal ; but how 
little did he foresee the results to which it would lead ! 

Ere the winter had set in. Count AVilhelm and his 
ward arrived. With the appearance of the latter the 
Count Riechoffen was extremely j)leased ; there was a 
manliness and frankness in his manner, which found a 
ready sympathy in the mind of his aged host. Had not 
his youth forbad the idea, he might have been supposed 
the Count's own son, from the assiduity with which he 
sought to enter into his tastes, and render himself agree- 
able to him. 

Wilhelm was frequently absent for weeks together. At 
first he had invited Adolphe di Sanvitalli to join these 
hunting excursions ; but finding that they were either 
entered upon with distaste, or declined entirely, he ceased 
to disturb Adolphe in what he termed his frivolous occu- 
pations. But did Count Wilhelm really know the nature 
of that occupati(m which bound the young and ardent 
Sanvitalli's heart and soul to the chateau of Uiechoffen ? 
Did he pause to consider the natural consequence of his 
constant association with a young and lovely woman, who, 
for the first time, was made sensible of her power to 
please ? 

Constantly thrown together, their lives passed in the 



CONSCIENCE. 



359 



exercise of those kind and pious feelings which arise in 
the hearts of all who devote themselves to soothe and 
divert the aged, how could it be otherwise than that 
Adolphe and Therese should become attached, and firmly 
and irrevocably so, before either of them was aware of 
the existence of such a sentiment ? A proposal of mar- 
riage was made for the latter by a gentleman of fortune 
residing in Strasburgh ; and this proposal being commu- 
nicated by Count Riechoffen to his son, led to a discussion 
so loud and angry, on the part of Wilhelm, that Adolphe, 
who was in an adjoining room, with the door open, could 
not avoid hearing it. The first sentence which fell from 
the Count's lips seemed to unlock the secret of his own 
heart. " He is not worthy of her," said the old nobleman, 
" or I could better make this sacrifice ; but to resign The- 
rese, to part with that beloved child to one who cannot 
know her worth, is impossible. And yet," added he, " my 
death would leave her unprotected, though not unpor- 
tioned." 

" No, of that I make no doubt !" exclaimed Wilhelm, 
sneeringly ; " she has not stolen into your aff"ections with- 
out taking care to get provided for ; the itching for money 
is inherent in these low-born brats, and I dare say your 
paragon has been, from time to time, well tutored. How- 
ever, my advice is to close at once with this ofier ; nothing 
so respectable may again occur." 

"Are you mad, Wilhelm?" inquired his father; " or 
of whom are you speaking ? Of Therese's birth nothing 
is known ; but her virtues and her Christian graces may 
stand in lieu of the proudest blazon that displays itself on 
a royal escutcheon. She has been to my failing years 
their prop and support ; she has entwined herself around 
my heart; and had I a grandson who would make her 



360 EVENINGS AT IIADDON HALI,. 

happy, oil liiiii would I bestow her, as the best and choicest 
blessing I had to give." 

"While the Count had been speaking, Adolphe di San- 
vitalli had entered unpcrceived. Springing forward, he 
caught the Count's hand, and, falling at his feet, ex- 
claimed, "Would that I were that grandson, to be con- 
sidered worthy of such a blessing ! but even as I am 1 
would fain entreat it at your hands. Oh I I beseech — I 
implore you, let my love, my admiration, for your The- 
rese, be considered my guerdon for endeavouring to 
become worthy of it." 

"Hold, sir!" interrupted Count Wilhelm; " do you 
forget that I am your guardian, and that it is my consent 
alone which can avail ? Hear me, Adolphe ; sooner than 
consent to your thus disgracing the noble name you bear, 
1 would '-" 

At that moment the object of this discussion appeared. 
It was the hour for prayer, and she came, as was her daily 
wont, to attend her benefactor to the chapel. The sight 
of her seemed to paralyze Wilhelin's tongue. Was it 
shame at beholding the orjihan girl, against whom his 
unmanly speech was directed ? or did her appearance recall 
some recollection, which sent the blood from his cheeks, 
and rendered him mute and confused? 

Count Riechoffen arose, and passing his arm through 
Therese's, said, " Come, my children, let us go to the 
house of prayer; and may we, in the exercise of our devo- 
tions, i-ecover our serenity." They passed to the closet, 
and perceived that the servants were assembled in the 
chapel, where the chaplain was already in his desk, wait- 
ing their entrance to commence his exordium. Therese 
took her seat, as usual, on a low chair by the Count. 
Court Wilhelm sat opposite to them, looking gloomy and 



CONSCIENCE. 361 

disturbed, and occasionally stealing a furtive glance at 
Therese; while Adolphe remained standing behind her 
chair, his eyes alternately wandering from her beauteous 
head to his guardian's agitated countenance. The Count 
RiechoiFen appeared absorbed in thought, his arms folded, 
and resting on his crutch-handled cane. 

The service was scarcely concluded, when a message 
was brought to Count Wilhelm, desiring his immediate 
presence in the apartment of the aged housekeeper, whose 
office it had been for more than forty years to conduct 
strangers over the chateau, and whose health had been for 
some mouths fast declining. On entering the apartment, 
he found the old lady propped up in bed with pillows ; 
her eyes were sunk, her face livid, and her whole aspect 
bespoke the near approach of death. She motioned to him 
to approach, and desired every one else to withdraw. 

" Count Wilhelm," said she, " know you the name of 
Miiller V He started, and turned pale. " Know you," 
she continued, " the fate of poor Constance Germain, on 
whom you bestowed, by marriage rite, the name of MUller ?" 

" Oh, tell me of her ! " cried Wilhelm, thrown off his 
guard by the abruptness of the question. 

" It is thirteen years since she breathed her last, pray- 
ing for her destroyer, and blessing those who had fostered 
his child." 

"What mean you, Agatha? — His child? my child? 
Gracious Heaven ! why was all this kept from me ?" 

" Why ? " returned Agatha — " do you ask me why ? 
As the supposed Wilhelm Miiller, Constance had loved 
and worshipped him she thought her husband ; but from 
Wilhelm Riechoffen, who she discovered to be her betrayer, 
she scorned +0 seek relief, and so she sank heart-broken to 
the grave.'* 



362 EVKMNOS AT HADDON HALL. 

"But her child, Agatha — her child! Oh, tell mi; — 
that did not surely perish too V 

The feeble spark of life seemed fast fading in Agatha's 
bosom. Large drops of perspiration stood on her fore- 
head. The exertion had been too much, and the unhappy 
man who stood by her bed, in all the agony of shame and 
remorse, feared that her sj)irit would depart without resolv- 
ing his torturing doubt respecting his child. Some mo- 
ments elapsed before Agatha could again articulate. At 
length she said, almost in a whisper, " Therese is that 
child," and then she sank back in a swoon, from which 
she never recovered, and in a few minutes life had fled. 

On lea\dng this scene of death. Count Wilhelm retired 
to his own apartment, where he remained inaccessible to 
every one for that day. When he joined the family next 
morning, an extraordinary change was visible in his appear- 
ance; the usual sternness of his countenance was gone ; a 
look of melancholy reigned in its stead, and his impetuosity 
seemed wholly subdued. 

:): :|c :(: ^ ^ ^ 

It may be supposed that Adolphe di Sanvitalli did not 
neglect the opportunity afforded him by his guardian's 
seclusion, of urging his suit with the gentle Therese ; 
and, having won from her frank and ingenuous heart an 
acknowledgment of regard, he had no difficulty in obtain- 
ing the Count Riechoffcn's sanction to their engagement, 
though its fulfilment could not take place till he attained 
his majority, which event would render his guardian's 
opposition vain. But it soon became apparent that all 
objection on Count Wilheha's part was at an end. To his 
father and to Adolphe he made full confession of his early 
sin, but Therese knew not that he was her father, till 
some months after she had become a wife. 



SIXTH EVENING. 



When the company entered the library on the sixth 
evening, those who had hitherto noted with interest the 
varied and expressive countenance of the youthful Queen 
of the Revels, could not fail to observe that, on this 
evening, her features were less radiant with the sunshine 
of hope, less alive with the eloquence of expectation, than 
they had been during any previous evening of the week — 
a week in which the Lady Eva might be said to have 
lived the life of many years ; since, during the course 
of it, she had for the first time experienced that truest 
sense of existence which springs from a consciousness 
that others live, as it were, for the time being, in and 
through us. 

Heretofore, she had enjoyed that vague and visionary 
species of happiness which, however blessed it may be as 
the appointed lot of childhood, leaves no more ti'ace behind 
it than does the passage of a beautiful vessel through a 
sunny sea. But during this eventful week, the Lady Eva 
had, for the first tnue, become one of a company of noble 
and cultivated men and women. Many of them she knew 
to be distinguished among their fellows for gifts and ac- 
quirements, before which the nobility of birth and station 
bows down in willing homage. She had seen such a 



364 EVENINGS AT HADDON II ALL. 

company for several successive evenings, devoting their 
thoughts and intellectual energies to themes of which she 
felt that she was in some degree the originator ; and the 
thought seemed to have communicated to her a species of 
intellectual life and consciousness that she had never felt 
before. 

But now that the eventful week was verging towards 
its close, a reaction to the previous excitement had cast a 
cloud upon her fair brow, which the entrance of the guests 
did not at first dispel. On each of the preceding evenings 
she had manifested an anxiety amounting almost to impa- 
tience for the commencement of the Revels, but now, as if 
desirous of delaying it, she did not for some minutes even 
approach the table around which they had been wont to 
congregate; and when at length she did open the gor- 
geous portfolio which contained the few drawings yet 
to be illustrated, it was with a sigh that she commenced 
the task — for on this occasion she evidently felt it 
one — of indicating the course of this last evening's 
entertainments. 

She took up a design depicting the descent of a moun- 
tain cataract into the rugged vale below, and handing it 
to the accomplished writer, who had promised, on the 
previous evening, to illustrate it by a poem, she be- 
sought him, with almost a starting tear — more difficult 
to be resisted than the sunniest smile — not to disappoin 
her. 

The result of this petition was, — 



THE ASSAULT OF THE DEVIl's BRIDGE, 365 



THE ASSAULT OF THE DEVIL'S BRIDGE. 

[In 1799, the French army under Moreau, making their retreat, on 
the advance of the Russian troops under Suwarrow, from the valley of 
Schollenen, broke down the bridge over the River Reuss. The attack was 
one of the most memorable of the Mountain War. The French fought 
gallantly, but were overwhelmed, and the pass was won at the point of the 
bayonet. — September 24.] 

I WOUND my way down Schollenen ; 
In purple lay the solemn glen. 
Night hastened ; yet the western blaze 
Oft turned my step, oft fixed my gaze ; 
A shaft of flame, each pinnacle 
Shot upward from the forest dell ; 
Along the hill the heather dun 
Lay crimsoned in the full-orbed sun ; 
And every rill that down it rolled, 
Threaded the crimson web with gold. 

All loveliness, and calm around ; 

No cloud in heaven, on earth no sound, 

Save tinklings of the Alpine fold. 

Save where some distant convent tolled, 

Or when some mountain falcon's cry 

Touched on the sense, and then swept by ; 

All dewy freshness, earth and air ; 

(The hour, by Nature made for prayer !) 

All pure, as if those scenes sublime 

Had never echoed woe or crime ! 

But glance upon the rocky ridge. 

Where spans the chasm that slender brid3;«>. 

So light, so lofty, and so lone, 

As if by spells across it thrown — 

Where, seen between us and the sky. 

Stands the chamois with fearless eye ; 

Where, by his fawn, the fallow deer. 

Scarce to the breezes bends his ear ; 

And the rock-eagle feeds his brood, 

King of the a. »untain solitude ! 



366 



EVENINGS AT nADDON HaLI. 

Yet, once beneath this golden sun, 
The sternest work of war was done. 

'Twas autumn-eve, and all was still 

A trumpet sounded from the hill ! 
'Twas answered from the covert green, 

That dai'kens down yon rich ravine 

'Twas answered from yon oak-crowned delli^ 
'Twas answered from yon marble cell, 
Where by old Time, or tempest reft. 
Bursts the bright river from its cleft, 
'Twas answered from the mountain snow- 
War was around, above, below ! 

Anon was filled the valley wide, 
Anon was filled the mountain's side ; 
With tossing flag and trumpet clang 
From slope to slope the squadrons sprang. 
And still, to shout and war-horn wild, 
Battahon on battalion filed — 
Still bayonet-point and sabre-blade 
Swelled upwards from the valley's shade. 
There, as they rose, the eye might trace 
The deathless marks of tribe and race ; 
Haniessed with sabre, mace, and bow. 
The Bashkir, son of storm and snow ; 
Fierce as the wolf upon the track. 
Winding his steed, the brown Cossack ; 
There, silver-sheathed, from neck to knee, 
The Georgian's knightly panoply ; 
There, rider of the Desert sand, 
With turbaned brow, and lance iu hand. 
The fiery warriors of the Khan, 
Who steeped in blood thy shores, Japan— 
Who stormed thy giant wall, Cathay — 
Then, wild as panthers in their play. 
Rushed where the towery Kremlin flingi 
Its shadow on the tombs of kings — 
Then, homeward swejjt, an ebbing flood. 
Leaving behind but wrecks and blood, 
Waiting till some new Tamerlane 
ShaH loose the living tide again. 



TUE ASSAULT OI' THE DEVIl's BRIDGE 367 

But, charge for charge, aiiJ blow for blow. 
Was thy bold tactic, brave Moreau 1 
Along the river's rocky edge. 
Along the Grimsel's lofty ledge. 
Beneath the forest's twilight shade. 
Ploughing the host, his cannon played. 
And still the Russian answered well. 
Thick poured his storm of shot and shell ; 
Yet vain his toU to storm the ridge — 
Crushed in the torrent, lay the bridge. 
Across that chasm, aJone might spring 
The mountain goat, or eagle's wing — 
Still flowed the gore, and pealed the gun, 
Nor yet the mortal Pass was won. 

Night fell. Beneath the cloud of night 
Still thundered, raved, and bled, the fight. 
But hark ! — a warning horn is blown, 
And see ! — a rocket upward thrown ! 
Bagrathion, bravest of the brave. 
Has climbed the rock and stemmed the wave, 
Where, bounding from its snowy tract, 
Plunged in the vale the Cataract. 
Torn by his fire from flank to flank, 
The Frenchmen fell in rank on rank — 
On Russia's banner rose the sun, 
Fixed on the ridge — the Pass was won ! 



I 



At the close of this poem, there was a flutter in a part 
of the room where a young gentleman, recently from 
college, was deprecating, with the most candid air in the 
world, the solicitations of a group of ladies who had clus- 
tered about him. It appeared that he had betrayed to one 
of them, quite unintentionally, during the animated recita- 
tion just concluded, the interesting fact, that this poem on 
Moreau had called to his recollection a statelier piece of 
versification which he had himself composed on a famous 
hero, equally brave and energetic. 



3G8 EVENINGS AT IIADDON HALL. 

Such a discovery, at such a iiioiiicnt, was not to be 
suffered to escape. It was rapidly whispered from one to 
another, and so reached Lady Eva at last, who, with that 
sunny and most arbitrary wilfulness which was not to be 
denied, resolved upon putting the gallantry of the detected 
jtoet to tlie test of her persuasive appeal — as yet, invari- 
ably successful. 

And that young poet came of a race distinguished alike 
by gallantry and genius, and had given abundant promise 
that, at no remote day, he would vindicate its fair reputa- 
tion proudly in his own person; for he had already won 
high collegiate honours, and obtained applause for fugitive 
j)roductions displaying a lively imagination and cultivated 
taste. But these effusions were only the graceful fruits of 
leisure moments, snatched from the severer studies to which 
the loftier ambition of his intellect was steadily directed. 
It was not possible that the Lady Eva could fail in urging 
her request in this quarter, and after some playful hesita- 
tion, the Collegian commenced his heroic lay. 

CHARLES THE TWELFTH. 

Ask ye what meet reward remains to grace 

The hero-monarch's last sad resting-place .' 

AVhat lingering trophy of his proud career, 

When Death's stern arm breaks down the strong man's speaT; 

Is left, his memory from reproach to save, 

And wipe the stain of carnage from his grave ? 

'Tis the bright hope of glory, that afar 

Shines through the mists of time, his leading star, 

And still delusive lights o'er field and flood 

His onward course to untried scenes of blood. 

When on some hard-fought field the victor's eye 

Views one vast scene of hopeless misery — 

When from their wasted hones, in sujipliant prayer, 

A nation's voice sounds mournful on his ear, 



CHARLES THE TWELFTH. 369 

And Conscience speaks within his breast once more — 

" Behold thy works, and tremble, Conqueror !" 

'Tis then that Glory tempts his wavering mind ; 

" One aim be thine !" she cries — " to rule mankind ; 

Let not a few weak tears thy course delay, 

Once shed, then past, mere evils of a day, 

While in all future time thy brow shall be 

Wreathed with the crown of ImmortaUty, 

Thy name in paeans chanted, and enroU'd 

With storied chiefs and demigods of old." 

False Syren ! in an angel's radiant guise 

Thy form first charm'd young Charles of Sweden's eyes 

When from beleaguer' d town and tented field, 

East, West, and South, the hostile trumpet peal'd. 

Robed as his country's genius didst thou stand, 

The sword of Vasa gleaming in thy hand. 

Shall then the Dane resume his hated sway, 

The scourge of Sweden in her evil day ? 

Shall the rude Russ and wolfish Polack hold 

Proud Mora's stones, where kings were crown'd of old.. 

And heroes worshipp'd, and pollute the home 

That rear'd the conquerors of imperial Rome ? 

" Sleeps Balder's spirit ? from its mystic fire 

Starts not the buried sword of Angantyr ? 

Wake, Thor and Odin, fathers of the strong ! 

Sound from your clouds Valhalla's battle-song. 

Inspiring, like the loud Orthian strain. 

That fired embattled hosts on Ilion's plain. 

The scorn of coward ease and fleeting breath, 

The joy of battle, and the thirst of death." 

They heed not, — by deep fiord and pine-clad steep 

The fabled gods of Runic legend sleep ; 

Nor needs the call ; in living strength and wrs.iC; 

Heirs to the glory of the unconquer'd Goth, 

Their home the camp, their breath the battle-cry, 

Forth pours the might of Swedish chivalry. 

Train'd from their hardy youth in fight to dare 

The ravening wolf or grisly mountain-bear. 

To brave the Northern Ocean's wildest wrath, 

Or scale, mid storms, the dizzy glacier's path, 

They burn with Liitzen's fame their name to twine, 

And cleanse in blood the wrongs of Vasa's line. 



370 EVENINGS AT IIAODON llAJ-lm 

Exult, young monarch ; but ere shadowy night 
Shuts out the beauteous vision from tliy sight. 
Let one last glance of fond remembrance fall 
On the rich beauties of thy capital. 
The setting sun hath thrown its latest ray 
On each fair isle and undulating bay, 
Yet casts one golden beam of lingering light 
Where thy proud palace rears its massive heiglit. 
Far to the right, in all a monarch's pride. 
The mighty Baltic rolls its gladsome tide ; 
There, in calm beauty, Malais waters lie, 
The cradled mirror of the northern sky. 
Reflecting rock and wood, and castled steep. 
And park and pleasance in its bosom deep. 
Ere darkness o'er the lovely landscape roll. 
Gaze, till that scene be graven on thy soul, 
And let each treasured memory of the past 
Be centred in that look — for 'tis thy last ! — 
Last to the martial thousands muster'd there, 
Who, as the deep drum beats for vesper prayer. 
Raised loud the hymn that roll'd o'er Lutzen's fiddi, 
" God is our fortress ! God our sword and shield I" 
— Weep for thy humbled crown, thy purple torn, 
For thy proud boastings, Denmark, only mourn ; 
In the first chafings of his mighty wrath 
The Swede hath swept thee headlong from his patii. 
Bow down thy vanquished head, and, stooping low, 
Proud Frederic, crave e.tistence of thy foe ; 
Nor bootless plead ; o'er realms unwasted reign. 
And live, despised and spared, to plot again. 
On to fresh victory with lightning speed ! 
East calls to West, in her extremest need : 
Mark, where their wary chief arrays for fight. 
In strong-fenced camp, the hardy Muscovite, 
And strives by skill and vantage-ground to meet 
The fiery onset that knows no retreat — 
Such onset as of yore, on land and wave. 
Sires of the Swede, the bold Berserkir gave. 
Headlong they close ; in vain, with murderous ainx. 
The battei7 opes its countless mouths of flame : 
First in the breach, as foremost in the field. 
Advancing still where valour's self mi^ht yield, 



I 



CHARLES THE TWELFTH. 371 

The Warrior monarch cheers his vanguard on 

'Gaijst tenfold odds, and Narva's field is won. 

Speed on thy course, brave King ; what need to telJ 

The tale of daring deeds recorded well, 

That sweU'd the spring-tide of thy young renown. 

And hurl'd in turn each leagued aggressor down ? 

Yet, nobler, worthier of immortal lays, 

The kingly virtues of thy better days ; 

To give to Poland's best and bravest son 

Her sceptre, from an aUen despot won ; 

To hear the peasant's prayer ; with liberal hand 

To heal war's waste amid a conquer'd land ; 

Release the captive soldier, free to roam 

Back to his native fields and scatheless home, 

And bid the voice of veteran thousands yield 

To God the glory of each stricken field — 

These are the deeds which die not : Time may raze 

To dust old thrones and kingdoms ; but such praise 

Outlives e'en Time, and radiant mounts on high, 

A living wreath to meet Eternity ! 

Hadst thou then known, that He, whose mighty word 

Can raise the weak, and break the conqueror's sword i 

Whose will the instinctive universe obeys, 

Had mark'd the narrow circle of thy days ; 

Hadst thou then paused on that prophetic thought, 

Then had the sword (thy country's battles fought) 

Been sheathed in honour ; and thy name alone 

Had proved the bulwark of thy realm and throne. 

Yet ere the tide of ruin o'er thee roll. 

Tear the dread lust of conquest from thy soul : 

It may not be ! Hard were the miser's part 

To ope the dried-up fountains of his heart ; 

Hard for the desperate gamester's gloating eye 

To shun the hazard of the fatal die ; 

But harder yet, when Victory has shed 

Her lustre on some youthful monarch's head, 

For bis proud heart to bow its cherish'd will, 

And spurn her fading chaplet, and be still. 

Alas ! how changed from aU the knightly ruth. 
And free, bold courtesy of earher youth I 
Caress'd and fear'd by Europe's mightiest powers, 
On Liitzen's plain his conquering banner towers ; 



372 EVENINGS AT 11 ADDON HALL. 

But vain *he boast, to m.itcli his purer name, 

Whose glorious death gave yon rude stone its fame. 

Pride prompts to wreak on Dresden's vanquish'd lot\U 

Insults more bitter than the headsman's sword : 

Pride, rising in his guardian-spirit's room, 

With hand yet red from Patkul's felon doom, 

Waves high the torch of war, and calls — " Arise ! 

On, great of soul ! fulfil thy destinies. 

On ; crown again thy Stanislaus' brow ; 

Kings be thy liegemen, and their monarch thou. 

Let Russia's humbled eagle northward fly 

To her rude eyrie in the Polar sky, 

And Fame inscribe thee on her shield of gold, 

' Stay of the weak, and tamer of the bold.' 

Away ! though howling deserts round thee rave, 

Though to thine eye one vast unbounded grave 

Is spread, though hostile elements arise 

To stay thy course, and bar thee from thy prize. 

Away ! thine ancient foe at length must feel 

The full outpourings of thy wrath ; thy heel 

Shall crush his suppliant neck ; thy word must give 

' The last poor boon that bids the vanquish'd live.' " 

How fond the boast ! the cherish'd hope how vain I 

The stern Czar waits him on Pultowa's plain, 

With strength matured, and purpose firm and cool. 

And learning conquest in reverse's school. 

No backward look, no quailing heart, was there ; 

All skill could prompt, or reckless valour dare, 

That day did Sweden's king, with soul that rose, 

In combat or retreat, o'er Nature's throes. 

But who the God of battles may withstand ? 

Fall'n is thy star ; a feeble, faithful band 

Alone of all thy veteran host is left. 

To guard thee still, of all but hope bereft ; 

Aping the empty mockery of state, 

A suppliant at the generous Moslem's gate. 

Again he comes ; let wondering Europe tell. 

How desperate grew the strife ere Stralsund fell I 

Still burning for some deed of high emprise, 

He calls to arms ; at once new legions rise : 

His home unvisited, he parts again. 

To strike to earth once more the traitor Dare 



CHARLES THE TWELFTH. 373 

In his own den to tame Lim, as of yore, 

Return with honour, or return no more. 

Why sudden pause upon the rampart's height, 

Yon thunders, volleying through the dead of night ? 

And hark, what stifled murmur fills the air ? 

No sound of onset or retreat is there ; 

No, 'tis the muffled drum, whose requiem-tone 

Proclaims a mighty spirit quench'd and gone. 

Peace to thy shade ! in such majestic mould, 

Heaven forms the master-souls who win and hold 

Man's free unbought allegiance : those who guide, 

For weal or woe, Time's ever-moving tide. 

Shall the strong heart's indomitable fire ; 

The Spartan mastery of each gross desire ; 

The friendship firm and true ; the courage high 

In life and death ; the unshaken constancy ; 

The mind that left its impress on an age ; 

Serve but as themes to Mockery's pedant page, 

Marr'd though they were, and warp'd to purpose vain. 

By the mad pride that work'd the angels' bane ? 

No ! turn we to that Isle of knightly name. 

Sacred to Valour, Loyalty, and Fame, 

Where mingling with the dust of chivalry, 

By great Gustavus' side his ashes lie. 

The sword his cold hand grasp'd in death's embrace, 

Finds on his tomb its well-won resting-place ; 

High o'er his head, a martial nation rears 

The banner'd trophies of a thousand years : 

Around, each warrior-knight, each patriot king. 

The heroes of the North, are slumbering. 

And may not Fancy deem, nor deem in vain, 

That stiU their spirits haunt yon sacred fane ? 

And, as we view each chief's time-hallowed bier. 

Should some far trumpet steal upon the ear. 

Or the faint breeze, or hour of even- song. 

Rustle one banner's drooping folds among ; 

Let fond Imagination catch the sound. 

And paint each warrior-spirit hovering round ; 

While the rapt pilgrim owns with pleasing dread. 

The viewless presence of the mighty dead. 



374 EVENINGS AT HADDON HALL. 

After the foregoing poem, there remained of the 
twenty-four beautiful drawings but three unillustratcd ; 
these three the Lady Eva took up, examined, and admired 
separately. " There is a person present," said she, " to 
whom I would wish to confide the dlustration of these 
three designs. They arc each beautiful in their concep- 
tion, finished in their execution, and, in the hands I 
desire to place them, cannot fail to elicit a spirited and 
dramatic tale." 

The eyes of the company involuntarily followed the 
direction in which the Lady Eva's were turned. Not an 
nstant's doubt prevailed as to the accomplished author to 
,?hom she intended to appeal. Could her choice have 
alien more happily than on a refined Critic, able Histo- 
rian, and admired Dramatist? Every one present thought 
of his "History of Russia," his "Lives of the Poets," 
except those who more inmiediately recollected "Marriage" 
and " Mothers and Daughters." A murmur of applause 
ran through the assembled group, as the Lady Eva ap- 
])roachcd, and gracefully proffered the three drawings. 
" But," remarked the gentleman thus silently invoked — 
" but. Lady Eva, this is to be your last tale, and surely 

" " True," she interposed, with a heavy sigh, " it 

is to be my last tale, and therefore do I beseech you to 
make it, what indeed you can scarcely fail to do, one which 
shall render my Birthday Revels long remembered by all 
our Friends." 

While the Lady Eva was speaking, the gentleman she 
addressed had taken the drawings from her hand, and, 
after a careful examination of each, and a few minutes' 
reflection, related :he following tale, which he entitled — 



LOVE TO THE RESCUE. 375 

LOVE TO THE RESCUE. 

pcIuUe.— 1656. 

A RICH autumnal sun was setting over the scanty 
•vaters of the Vesle. The broad plain through which they 
rippled, monotonous and dreary enough in ordinary cir- 
cumstances, acquired a sort of tender beauty under the 
influence of the mellow lights which invested the whole 
scene with a touching and melancholy interest. The 
sombre colouring of the season and the hour heightened 
the peculiarly mournful character of that dismal stretch 
of country, in the midst of which stands the ancient city 
of Rheims, whose tall spires^ and low, fantastic roofs, 
could be discerned by the rays which sparkled on their 
points and angles, long after the faint twilight had deep- 
ened into dusk on the surrounding level. 

Upon the highroad which crosses this plain, leading 
in a direct line to one of the principal gates of the city, a 
solitary traveller was laboriously pressing onwards towards 
his destination. 

His costume was not that of France. The broad-leafed, 
conical hat, the short cloak, slashed doublet, and falling 
band, indicated not only the country whence he came, 
but the party to which he belonged. English royalists, 
however, were at that time so well known on the continent, 
through exile and misfortune, that their dress provoked 
little curiosity. The traveller bore evident marks of suf- 
fering and fatigue ; and, although the urgency of his jour- 
ney was apparent, in the impatient anxiety with which he 
every now and then quickened his pace, he frequently 
paused for momentary rest; — perhaps, also, to indulgr.- 



•376 KVliNINGS AT IIADDON HALL. 

in the contemplations suggested by a locality where the 
chivalry of England had formerly won many a brilliant 
trimiiph. 

lie was scarcely n)ore than twenty-five years of age j 
but mental affliction, while it could not wholly disguise 
his youth, had stamped a painful gravity on it, which 
made him appear much older. A hardy frame, capable 
of bearing up manfully against toil and privation, was well 
associated with the earnest spirit which imparted so serious 
an interest to his face ; certainly not the interest of a fine 
outline, or handsome features, for he possessed neither — 
but that sort of interest which grows upon the visible 
signs of a strong and faithful nature battling against 
adversity. 

The traveller had now reached the ruins of a Roman 
amphitheatre, at a short distance outside the walls of the 
town. Utter darkness had supervened upon the last gleam 
of sunset, which palpitated for a moment on the edge of 
the horizon, and vanished ; and the mass of houses, ram- 
])arts, and spires before him, would have been nndistin- 
guishablc in the common gloom, w hich obscured all objects 
alike, but for the reflexion of the city lights dimly sufi'used 
on the sky. Guided by this beacon, he hurried forward, 
and at last gained the triple archway of the Porte de 
Mars. 

It happened to be high holy-day at Rheims — the day 
of the patron, St. Remi. Hundreds of people, in then- 
gayest attire, were crowded into the streets, especially 
round the old, unsightly church, which has nothing to 
commend it to the admiration of tlie inhabitants, but the 
tradition of a fabulous antiquity, and a pious catalogue 
of miracles. Sedan-chairs, heralded by flambeaux, were 
in movement in all directions, conveying beaux and old 



LOVE TO THE RESCUE. 377 

ladies to supper-parties or vespers ; and the more commo- 
dious avenues of the town were thrown into an absolute 
uproar of delight by itinerant mummers, dancers, show- 
men, and ballad-singers. A huge model of the tomb of 
the Consul Joviuus (for Rheims boasts of having given a 
consul to Rome in the fourth century) occupied a con- 
spicuous position in the Place Royale, illuminated inside 
with candles, and containing some wonderful reliques, 
which the populace were invited to inspect, on payment of 
a trifling douceur. Bands of music struggled hard to be 
heard above the miscellaneous din, and everybody seemed 
to be fiercely intent upon extracting the utmost possible 
hilarity from the saintly festival. 

The stranger hustled his way as well as he could 
through the tumult ; nor did he altogether escape some 
broad witticisms upon the dinginess of his garments, and 
the shape of his hat. The people seemed to think that 
one wlio made so grotesque a contrast to their merriment 
had no business amongst them ; a fact which was still 
more poignantly impressed upon him by his own bitter 
thoughts. 

It was by no slight exertion that he succeeded at 
length in effecting his escape into a quiet alley under the 
ramparts, disturbed only occasionally by stragglers from 
the main streets, or idlers hastening to join the revel. 
Pursuing this narrow track to the end, he emerged into 
a small open space, dotted with a few skeleton poplars. 
Here he paused for an instant to make sure of his route. 
The monastic repose of the spot assured him that he was 
in the ecclesiastical quarter of the town. In the opposite 
angle a massive building stood out darkly agamst the sky, 
and the stone cross which surmounted an antique fountain 
in the centre of the place, satisfied him that he had 



378 EVENINGS AT RADDON HALL. 

fortunately hit upon the ri^cht point, without exposing 
himself to the delay of an inquiry. 

Rapidly crossing over, he struck into a paved passage 
under the shadow of the houses, and stood before a low 
door deeply sunk in the building. The echoes of the 
carnival he had just left behind floated down into the 
stillness, and were little calculated to strengthen his reso- 
lution, now faltering on the threshold of the very place he 
had sought so eagerly — the object of his long and weary 
travail. His hand trembled as he touched the handle of 
the bell, and the agitation which he in vain endeavoured 
to subdue, was not likely to ensure the most favourable 
reception from the sacristan, who opened the door. 

" The archbishop V inquired the stranger; " I would 
see the archbishop." 

" An unseasonable request," returned the sacristan. 

"But my business is urgent — I have come a long dis- 
tance to see him — travelled night and day — I am ex- 
hausted by fatigue and indifferent entertainment by the 
way — but that's nothing, nothing ! The reverend father 
will not be offended when he knows my business." 

" Your name ?" demanded the sacristan. 

" It would be of no avail. A stranger craves audience 
— 'tis business of life and death — I entreat you — my 
need presses." 

"To-morrow — to-morrow," replied the other; "his 
grace is at prayers." 

" The better for my hopes," responded the stranger, 
" for mine is an affair that pleads to Heaven for help. 
Oh, God ! what may not happen before to-morrow !" 

The intense anguish with which these words were 
uttered, softened the habitual indifference of the sacristan. 
"Well," he replied, scrutinizing the stranger, at the same 



LOVE TO THE RESCUE. 379 

time, from bead to foot, "come in, at all events. His 
reverence will scarcely see you to-night — but as you say 
your business is so urgent, I must see what can be done. 
Come in — come in." 

The stranger grasped his hand with a look of fervent 
gratitude, and followed him into the house, or, as it was 
then called, the Archiepiscopal Palace. 

The venerable archbishop, a descendant of the famous 
Sir Peter de Craon, was not so difficult of access as the 
sacristan would have had the stranger beheve. The au- 
dience was granted at once; and the stranger was received 
with an encouraging condescension, which greatly puzzled 
the more ceremonious notions of the sacristan. 

" From England, my son ?" inquired the prelate, whose 
benignant manner at once gave assurance to the visitor. 

" Yes, reverend father ; nor have I pressed couch since 
I left Southampton." 

" To what end, my son, have you undertaken so toilful 
a journey ? Speak freely. Yoa will find friends here, and 
countrymen." 

"Thank God for that," replied the stranger; "for I 
left none but wolves and oppressors behind. Pardon me, 
your grace, for begging audience at this late lour ; but my 
heart is racked with fears for one who is — perhaps wai, 

" His voice sunk as he approached the inquiry upon 

which all his anxieties were concentrated. 

" The Prince Charles ?" demanded the archbishop. 

" No, reverend father ; he is safe in Paris. But one 
who perilled and lost all in his righteous cause. I believe 
there are English monks under this sacred roof?" 

" Several." 

" And amongst them — Father Jacques ? Does he still 
live?'^ And his eyes had already gleaned the answer 



380 EVENIXflS AT IIADDON HALL. 

before the archbishop had time to shape it into utterance. 
" Blessed be the Lord, for all his mercies ! " 

" lie still lives, my son." 

''But broken in health — feeble — worn out with sor- 
row ? I have heard as much, and my only hope was to be 
with him in his last hours. I am in time for that V 

" lie is ill, indeed — very ill," resumed the prelate. 
"If you bring good tidings " 

" I bring none — none. In England, we have aban- 
doned all hope. The adherents of the royal party are 
scattered and disheartened. No man dare avow his faith 
there. Nothing remains to us but prayei' and death. Our 
kingdom in this world is gone for ever.^^ 

" Such despondency at your age, my son," replied the 
archbishop, "is an offence against the justice of Heaven. 
The time will come when the rights of the throne and the 
church shall be vindicated in full ; but England must look 
for restitution to its young blood, animated by the memory 
of hoarded wrongs, and years of tyranny. And when that 
time comes " 

" I will do my duty," returned the cavalier, " should I 
survive to witness the glorious issue of our sufferings. But 
your grace will forgive my present impatience. I have 
endured much in the hope I had scarcely ventured to 
indulge, of seeing Father Jacques " 

"Not to-night. You need repose and refreshment; 
nor would it be wise to risk an interview without some 
preparation. We must postpone the meeting till morning ; 
and in the meanwhile confide fully in me. I must not 
conceal from you, that, in his precarious state of health, 
any sudden communication might be attended with the 
worst results." 

The stranger was too much impressed with the neces- 



LOVE TO THE RESCUE. 381 

sity of acting upon this prudent advice, not to obey the 
archbishop^s injunctions implicitly. The sacristan, who 
still felt some uneasy doubts about a visitor whose business 
was so importunate and mysterious, could scarcely contain 
his astonishment when he found that supper was ordered 
m the closet for his grace and the cavalier; but all his 
speculations, fertile and ingenious as they were, suffered 
total shipwreck upon afterwards discovering that his lord- 
ship and the stranger had remained in close council until 
a late hour of the night. The worthy sacristan could not 
for the life of him comprehend it ; nor was he much en- 
lightened the next morning when he was required by his 
grace to conduct the stranger, by a private passage under 
the cloisters, into the choir of the cathedral. 

The cathedral of Rheims is one of the oldest and most 
magnificent in Europe. Its clustering columns, rich 
arches, statues, and monuments, scarcely require that 
additional appeal to the imagination which it derives from 
its remote historical associations; and it is impossible to 
tread its stately nave and noble transepts, to gaze upon its 
ponderous towers flanking the entrance, or to listen to the 
chimes of its mighty bells, smiting the roof and walls like 
peals of thunder, without being filled with awe. The 
solemn emotions which the majesty of the scene stirred in 
the mind of the stranger, lifted him for a brief interval out 
of the thoughts which had hitherto absorbed all his facul- 
ties. He stood close to the font where Clovis is said to 
have been baptized — upon the spot where a long succession 
of kings had received their crowns, under the sacred re- 
sponsibility of a religious trust ; he was sui-rounded by 
costly tombs and sculptured eflSgies, wonders of art and 
mementos of eternity, peculiarly impressive in the hush of 
the sombre light that fell upon them from the painted 



382 EVENINGS AT HADDON UALL. 

windows ; and as the swelling notes of the distant organ 
soared through the lofty pile, he was profoundly moved, 
and, sinking upon his knees, surrendered up his si)irit to 
asilent prayer. 

He was not alone in the cathedi-al. A few solitary 
communicants might be seen in some of the side chapels, 
where the service of the mass was performing ; and ujjou 
the steps leading to the choir, at the back of which the 
stranger had taken up his station, an aged monk was en- 
gaged in offices of devotion. Through illness and infirmity 
his limbs were incapable of long sustaining the painful 
attitude of supplication in which he first addressed the 
throne of grace, and he sat down exhausted upon the steps. 
But his mind was still abstracted in pious meditations, and 
absorbed by the outspread volume of divine truth over 
which he reverently bent his head. 

The action was carefully noted by two of the brother- 
hood, who loitered in the transept, apparently for the pur- 
pose of observing the motions of the monk. When he had 
concluded his orison, they drew near. The stranger had by 
this time become a dumb spectator of the scene, the issue 
of which he watched with intense interest. 

A brief salutation, in the customary form of a blessing, 
apprised the monk that he was addressed by the affectionate 
greeting of his spiritual superior. 

" Thanks for your holy care," he replied ; " I need it 
all. I feel more and more every day how swiftly the vain 
shows of this world are gliding from my eyes. The sha- 
dows of the grave are thickly gathering round me.'' 

" Not so, Father Jacques," mildly responded the arch- 
bishop ; " we must be hopeful in our reliance on the divine 
mercy." 

" I trust I am so," answered the monk ; " and if a con. 



LOVE TO THE RESCUE. 383 

trite spiritj chastised by much suffering, and bowed to the 
dust by bereavements, may hope to be acceptable, I have 
hope, reverend father, of rest and comfort — hereafter !" 

" And why not of a tranquil passage to a future hfe ? 
There are manifold blessings in store for us all — human 
sympathies, which it is our duty to nourish." 

Father Jacques raised his eyes, and looked inquiringly 
at the archbishop. He felt that there was a meaning in 
the words beyond the mere expression of general conso- 
lation they seemed to convey. 

" It is not well, father,'^ continued the archbishop, " to 
abandon wholly our interest in worldly ties. We forsake 
the world's pleasures, its pomps and its vices; but our 
hearts are human, and must vearn with human love to the 
last." 

" You speak strangely," returned the monk. 

" Yet not without reason," resumed the prelate. " The 
world you have renounced must contain some objects of 
interest for you." 

The monk grasped the speaker's arm convulsively. 
" To the purpose, I entreat your grace,'' he exclaimed. 
" You never spoke thus before. Pardon this weakness — 
but I am very feeble." 

" Well — well — be composed," said his grace ; " I have 
received some intelligence, which, under Divine Providence, 
will bring comfort and happiness to you. But you must 
be calm, and shew me that you can bear joy as patiently 
as you have borne affliction." 

" Calm — calm — calm !" And he added, with a wan- 
dering look, as if the communication had bewildered his 
senses — "Joy for me? — for me — a shattered creature !" 

" Let us retire from the nave," said the archbisb jp, 
" and vou shall hear the good news." 



384 EVENINGS AT IIADDON HALL. 

Conducting the old man between them, the venerable 
prelate and his coadjutor led him to a stone bench close to 
the choir, within hearing of the stranger, who still re- 
mained concealed behind a pillar. 

" I received some information from England last 
night," observed the archbishop. 

"Ah! the regicide is dead?" inquired the monk. 

"No — Cromwell still lives, more confirmed in his 
power than ever." 

" That is ill news, my lord," responded the monk, 
drawing a deep and heavy sigh. 

"Yes — ill news for England. But you have relin- 
quished all interest in such concerns. It was not of that 
I desired to speak," he continued, cautiously. 

" You put me on the rack. What is the news that 
touches me ? I am as one dead to the world, and nothing 
in the world can affect me." 

"You have kindred, Father Jacques?" 

A shudder ran through the frame of the old monk, but 
with a violent effort he commanded his emotions. " Kin- 
dred? Not one — not one! Distant relatives, perhaps — 
strangers to my heart. But kindred is something more than 
blood. No, no; I have no kindred!" 

" My information, Father Jacques," observed the arch- 
bishop, " says otherwise ; and I am disposed to credit it on 
many accounts." 

" Unless the grave can give back its tenants, reverend 
father, your information must be wrong." 

" We shall presently see," returned the other, at the 
same time motioning the stranger to draw near. " There 
came to me here last night," he continued, " a young man 
from England ; one who has still, even to his very habit, 
maintained his allesriance to the sacred cause of the Stuarts. 



LOVE TO THE RESCUE. 385 

Your family was known to him ; tlieir history through the 
war, their sacrifices in defence of the king. He knows all 
that has happened, to the very hour when he left the 
shore. And he tells me '^ 

"God of mercy, have pity upon me!^'' ejaculated the 
monk, clasping his hands, and gazing into the arch- 
bishop's eyes, as if he would read the sequel in their 
depths. 

" He tells me that one still lives whom you have 
believed to be dead — one close to your affections.^' 

"Where is he?" demanded the monk. "Let me 
question him." 

" He is here," returned the archbishop, as the stranger, 
with hesitating step, approached and stood before Father 
Jacques. 

The old man rose from his seat, and peered into the 
face of the stranger, but could recognise nothing there to 
assist his conjectures. " Speak !" he cried. 

" Your blessing, father !" exclaimed the stranger, in a 
broken voice, as he flung himself on his knees before the 
monk. 

A bubbling cry escaped the monk, as he raised the 
supplicant totteringly from the ground, and looking again 
intently into his features, went on, in a low and almost 
inarticulate tone : " You are a stranger to me ; you bring 
back old times and old faces. Your garb is like that of 
my youth. It gladdens me to look upon it ! And you 
have suffered, too ? You look so harassed ! And tears — 
tears for me ! 'Tis a blessed sign in one so* young ! And 
you bring tidings to me ? No, no ! But you come from 
England; that is something. To breathe the air with 
you is like home again. I am foolish to talk so. Your 
name — your mission? Will you not speak to me?" 

c c 



380 EVENINOS AT IIADDON HALL. 

The stranger was too nuich overcome by the piteous 
aspect of the monk to trust himself with words, and, turn- 
ing away his head, tried to conceal his agitation. Tlie 
monk reiterated his question. 

" No matter, for the present," said the stranger ; " we 
shall have time to talk by-and-by. I bring you joyful 
news, which I shall relate in full — news that I can vouch 
for. You are no longer friendless — your name is not ex- 
tinct. There lives one who may yet revive it with honour 
in the old place." 

This intimation, although it might be dark to others, 
seemed to be perfectly intelligible to the monk. But it 
produced a fearful effect uj)on him. The expression of 
wonder and incredulity which spread over his features as 
the stranger uttered the last words, was rapidly succeeded 
3y a sudden pallor. He was stricken with paralysis, and 
must have fallen to the earth, had not the stranger clasped 
him strenuously in his arms. 

He was conveyed to his chamber in a state of insensi- 
bility. For three days the stranger, refusing all rest, 
watched by his bedside. And during that agonising in- 
terval, the monk gathered strength enough to listen to the 
voice of him who watched, and to reward his care vnih 
blessings. 

At the end of three days, the stranger, wan and hag- 
gard, and with the wretched aspect of one upon whom a 
brief period of concentrated grief had done the work of 
years of common misery, was led out of that chamber of 
mourning. 

The monk was dead. 



LOVE TO THE RESCUE. 38" 



I.— A HAWKING PARTY. 1G61. 

Two milk-white palfreys and three horses, all richly 
caparisoned, stood in front of the entrance to Lynton Hall. 
It was precisely the sort of morning that old Latham 
would have chosen to try a flight of falcons. The sky was 
slightly overcast by a light fleece of snowy clouds, which 
prevented the eyes of birds or sportsmen from being per- 
plexed by the sun, and there was just wind enough abroad 
to give freshness to the atmosphere without presenting 
much resistance to the plumage of hawk or heron. 

The falconer had gone forward in advance with his 
stage of hawks, making an accompaniment to the music 
of their bells, by trolling the words of a ditty, which was 
at that time in the zenith of its popularity : — 

*' The soaring hawk from fist that flies, 

Her falconer doth constrain 
Sometimes to range the ground unknown, 

To find her out again ; 
And if by sight, or sound of bell. 

His falcon he may see, 
' Wo ho ! ' he cries, with cheerful voice — 

The gladdest man is he ! " 

The falconer knew as well as the writer of the ballad 
how to prize his falcons, and he broke in, every now and 
then, upon the ditty, to cry, " Wo ho ! " to his birds, and 
in especial to stroke with a feather the dark plumage of a 
stately peregrine, upon whose execution in the approaching 
sport he evidently laid great stress. 

The track lay through one of the wildest and most 
romantic valleys of Devonshire ; and when the falconer had 
gained a particular spot, where the rendezvous was ap- 
pointed, he scaled a rock to ascertain whether the party 



388 EVENINGS AT HADDOX HALL. 

>»yere in motion. A flutter of bright colours through the 
trees announced their rapid approach. Presently a noble 
greyhound, swifter than the fleetest steed, swept past, and 
in a few moments more, the whole valley was animated by 
the presence of the equestrians, who, unable to restrain 
the high spirits of their horses in the clear morning air, 
came scampering and bounding over the sward. 

The ladies of the party were Lucy Montagu, the heiress 
of Lynton Hall, and her light-hearted cousin, the Lady 
Catherine Gower, a maid of honour, who had ventured 
apon an exile of a few weeks from Whitehall, in the hope 
of retrieving her complexion in the breezes of Devonshire. 
They were attended by the young Lord Nevyl, whose 
estates lay close by, and two gentlemen who were then 
visiting at Lynton. From the skill with which Lucy 
Montagu and Lord JNevyl applied themselves to the ex- 
citing preparations for the sport, it was manifest that they 
were thoroughly familiar with its mysteries; which was 
more than could be said for the rest of the party, who 
merely looked on, with a vague and indulgent curiosity, 
while the merry falconer began to unloose his birds. 

" The peregrine first, Hugh Clark,'' exclaimed Lucy 
Montagu, as she touched the falcon with her glove ; " and 
see that her jesses are safe." 

The falconer was hardly pleased to risk his favourite's 
reputation on the first flight, and would fain have substi- 
tuted a fussy little hobby, which, with the impetuosity 
characteristic of its species, was impatient to be on the 
wing. But the lady was anxious to show the best of the 
sport first, before the attention of her guests was ex- 
hausted. 

The whole jiarty had now dismounted ; and Lord Nevyl 
was busy helping with the birds. 



LOVE TO THE RESCUE. 389 

" Shall I take the peregrine, j\Iiss Montagu ?" he in- 
quired. 

" If you please, my lord," returned the lady ; " and I 
will second you with my own ger-falcon. Give her to my 
hand, Hugh. There — gently. Wo ho, pretty bird!" 
And stretching our her closed hand, carefully protected 
by a richly-embroidered glove, the well-accustomed hawk 
stept upon it with an air of gentle dignity, that excited the 
admiration even of Lady Catherine. 

" It is wondrously beautiful," she exclaimed, " and 
seems quite familiar with you." 

"So she should be, Catherine; for I may almost say 
I trained her with my own hand. Is it not so, Hugh ?" 

" Ha," replied Hugh, " your ladyship will train a hawk 
with any falconer in England. Your ladyship took this 
bird in hand from an eyas. I remember the first time 
your ladyship hooded the beauty. Thei'e is such an art 
in that ! " 

" But can the creature see ?" inquired Lady Catherine. 

" Of course not, Catherine," returned Lucy ; " we 
should have no control over them if we did not keep them 
blinded till we start the prey. Don't you admire my 
rufter, and its handsome crest of pheasant feathers ? You 
shall learn presently how to fly a falcon from the hood ; — 
only keep silence, and watch ! " 

Lord Nevyl, who was prepared with the peregrine on 
his fist, with the leather end of the jesses wound tightly 
round his hand — for it was a bird of enormous height and 
power — listened with evident delight to the pleasant lore 
of Lucy Montagu. Even the two gentlemen, Piers Ever- 
ington and his brother Charles, both members of the new 
parliament, seemed to grow interested in these preliminary 
ietails. 



390 EVEN'INOS AT IIADDOX HALL, 

The whole party now moved noiselessly towards the 
river which brawled through the rugged bed of the valley, 
expanding at this place into a sort of basin, with a broad 
strand at the opposite side. A few straggling tall trees 
on the margin indicated the heronry, to which all eyes 
were now anxiously turned. 

"Which way is the wind, Hugh?" inquired Lord 
Nevyl. 

"Down the river, my lord," returned Hugh ; and si- 
lently motioning to leeward of the heronry, he led them 
down through the bushes for a considerable distance. 
Piers Evcrington was grievously perplexed by this trouble 
some manoeuvre, and inquired the reason of it. 

" Why, simply," said Lucy, to whom all these devices 
were mere matters of course, " because the heron on its 
return must fly against the wind, which gives an obvious 
advantage to the falcon." 

" Very curious, indeed ! " returned Piers Evcrington, 
Qot a whit enlightened by the explanation. 

"You see how accomplished Miss Montagu is in this 
royal pastime," said Lord Xevyl. " She might boast, with 
Spencer's Sir Tristram, — 

' Ne is there hawk wtiich mantleth on her perch, 
Whether liigli towering or acroasting low, 
But I the measure of her flighte doe search, 
And all her prey and all their habits know.'" 

" Hush ! " interrupted Lucy, " there is a heron on tlie 
wing." 

Hugh Clark shaded his eyes with his hand, to note 
the action of the distant bird, and, after a moment's ob- 
servation, confirmed the announcement. " Down, down 
in the bushes!" whisj)ered Hugh; and the whole party 



L.\,.S?-2- 




LOVE TO THE RESCUE. 391 

to the great reluctance of some of them, crept under the 
shadows of the brushwood as well as they could. 

Lord Nevyl, having measured his distance with a prac- 
tised eye, let fly the peregrine, who, the moment she was 
released, discovered her prey, and, fluttering her head, 
ascended in a series of spiral gyrations into the air. The 
instinct of the heron was no less rapid. She saw her 
danger, and strained her whole muscular power to ascend 
higher and higher, disgorging her food at the same instant 
to lighten her weight. She was considerably above the 
peregrine, whose circular flight, however, gradually lessened 
the distance ; but the heron still soared, and kept the as- 
cendancy. Now was the time for the ger-falcon to come 
into play. With a single touch of surpassing dexterity, 
Lucy slipped the jesses, and snatched ofi" the hood, and 
the stately bird shot into the air, taking still wider circles, 
the peculiar action of which had the effect, to the unskilful 
spectators, of making it appear that the pursuers and the 
pursued all took different directions. But presently, as 
the hawks gained upon their prey, the artifice by which 
they thus diminished the atmospheric resistance, became 
perfectly intelligible, and it was soon evident that their 
apparently divergent flight was directed steadily to one 
point. 

The peregrine is now close upon the heron; another 
grand sweep in the air, and she is above her. The spec- 
tators become as agitated for the issue as the plumed com- 
batants themselves. The peregrine mounts higher and 
nigher, to secure a more eff'ectual stoop ; the heron, with 
unerring instinct, feels that life or death depends on the 
next half second of time, and, lowering her wing, watches 
with fearful interest the motions of her enemy. The stoop 
is taken ; as swift as light the peregrine makes her blow, 



392 EVENINGS AT IIADDON HALL. 

hut the heron has evaded it by shifting her station ; and 
the hawk has no sooner shot past her than she takes to 
her wing again, and soars upwards with increasing energy, 
bat it is only to encounter the ger-falcon, who has all this 
time been ascending upon her track. The powerful wing 
of the ger-falcon leaves her no chance of escape. Higher 
and higher they mount, until at last they fade into specks 
hardly distinguishable from each other ; but the falcon is 
still to be detected by her gyrations, and the superior 
speed of her flight. The interest of the struggle deepens 
in intensity as the falcon ascends far above the heron, who 
now, fierce in her agony, and seeing all hope of escape in 
that direction at an end, comes precii)itately down, pre- 
pared to transfix the pursuer upon her up-turned beak. 
But luckily the peregrine diverts her from her purpose by 
a sudden lurch, and the ger-falcon drops upon her prey, 
which she seizes with fatal velocity, the peregrine binding 
to its fellow at the same time. The three birds, now 
twined and convulsed in a fearful contest, descend together 
rapidly to the earth. 

"To horse \" cries Hugh Clark, dashing into the river, 
towards the place where the birds were likely to drop. 
Lucv and Lord Ncvyl were already in their saddles, and 
across the river before the astonished lookers-on had reco- 
vered their surprise at the suddenness of the challenge. 
Of course Lady Catherine, and the two members of par- 
liament, were left far behind, while the sport carried their 
friends into a remote part of the valley. 

Hugh Clark had secured the heron just as Lucy and 
Lord Nevyl came up ; and as they were now approaching 
a closer part of the valley where pheasants were to be 
found, they determined upon trying a kestrel, or wind- 
hover, which was then much used for pheasant hawking. 



LOVE TO THE RESCUE. 393 

Dismounting again, Lord Nevyl and Lucy walked for- 
ward, while Hugh Clark selected a favoiu-able spot for the 
flight. It was a gorge in the steep rocks, out of which 
issued a waterfall, the river tumbling and foaming through 
the dark ravine below. The pheasants, who kept the open 
country, were often to be found here on the summits, and 
sometimes lower down, tempted into occasional excursions 
by the stillness and solitude of the place. 

The young lord was not sorry to be left alone with the 
beautiful heiress of Lynton Hall, and her beauty never 
appeared so resplendent in his eyes as amidst such scenes 
as these ; her singularly picturesque dress setting off to the 
greatest advantage that pure colour and charming frank- 
ness of expression, which had never yet been deteriorated 
by the fashionable excesses of a town life. The proximity 
of his residence had gradually rendered him an intimate 
at Lynton Hall, and the refinement of his tastes enabled 
him to discover intellectual merits in Lucy Montagu, 
which he esteemed even beyond her beauty. It was not 
surprising that Lord Nevyl should be in love with Lucy 
Montagu ; but it was very surprising that he did not 
know it. There is a curious sophistry in certain minds, 
by which they contrive to mystify themselves into pro- 
longed delight through this season of ambiguous passion, 
still loitering dreamily on the confines of self-confession, 
which they continue to evade as long as they can, by one 
deception or another, as if they were afraid it would all of 
a sudden put an end to their delicious doubts. But con- 
fessions must come at last ; and they often come at very 
unexpected moments. Sophists of this class are generally 
surprised, when they least expect it, into the full sense of 
t^ eir own happiness. 

" How charming is the solitude of this place ! " ex- 



394 EVENINGS AT HADDON HALL. 

claimed Lord Ncvyl. " Your fair cousin scarci-ly ajtpre. 
ciates our wild scenery.'^ 

"How can she?" replied Lucy; "she has lived in 
London all her life ; yet she is not spoilt by it. She has 
such deliditful spirits, and is so natural, in spite of her 
courtly tastes." 

" I can understand her character ; but she would never 
be happy out of the sphere in which she moves." 

"You are greatly mistaken. Lady Catherine is the 
most unselfish of all persons. She delights in conferring 
happiness on others. But how can you know anything 
about it ? AYe are all enigmas, and must be found out, 
like other puzzles." 

" Not all, Miss Montagu," said Lord Ne\7l, with a 
tone of earnestness, which appeared rather unusual to 
Lucy Montagu. " At least," he continued, " one fancies 
once in one^s life that one has found " 

" Oh ! one fancies a thousand things," interrupted 
Lucy ; " but character is not to be solved by fancy." 

"Then what is the key to this exquisite mystery?" 

" Why, I suppose," rejoined Lucy, laughing at the 
odd conceit, "keys to mysteries are something like keys 
to locks, and every mystery must be opened by its own 
key." 

" But there is a master-key, to which they all yield 
alike." 

"You absolutely make me curious. Lord Nevyl; pray 
what may that be?" 

"Sympathy, Miss Montagu; before which hearts arc 
laid open, as it were, by a touch of enchantment." llc 
ought to have said " love," for undeniably that was what 
he meant ; but Lord Nevyl did not yet exactly know <\hat 
he meant. 



LOVE TO THK RESCUE. 395 

" Oh, people may have sympathy in common pursuits, 
and yet make great mistakes in extending their inferences/' 
returned Lucy ; " but the argument is a little too subtle 
for me. And see, Hugh is starting a pheasant.'^ 

Lord Nev}4 was grievously vexed at the interruption. 
He secretly wished all the pheasants in England safe under 
cover. But there was no time for refining upon lost 
opportunities. Lucy was already at the entrance of the 
gorge, with a kestrel clambering on her hand, while Hugh 
was directing her attention to a distant spot, to which he 
thought he had traced the flight of the pheasant. 

" It will presently rise," said Hugh ; " be wary." 

The bird rose almost at the moment, and it was not 
until Lucy had released the kestrel, which mounted with 
that singularly graceful flight, for which this tiny species 
is so remarkable, that they discovered the prey to be a 
heron, and not a pheasant. The disadvantage was great 
between the pursuer and the pursued : and it was curious 
to observe how swiftly and courageously the kestrel as- 
cended, and distanced its prey, which, hoping to elude the 
pursuit, kept beating about in the brown shadow of the 
rocks. The hurried cry in the air of/;//, pli, pli, evinced 
the eagerness of the hawk, until it attained its greatest 
altitude at a vast height above the afi"righted heron, when 
the sound ceased. Lord Ne\^'^l, apprehensive of losing the 
bird, notwithstanding that he still heard the tingle of its 
bells, hurried upon a rock in the middle of the stream to 
lure it back, while Lucy prepared a second kestrel to be in 
readiness in case of need. But these pi'ecautions wei*e 
unnecessary. The kestrel was suspended apparently mo- 
tionless in the air, although a steady observer, accustomed 
to this peculiarity, might detect a slight, tremulous quiver- 
ing of the wings, by which it sustained itself. They held 



896 EVENINOS AT IIADDOX HALL. 

their breath to watch the issue. Like a flash from the 
sun, the kestrel darted down, and struck its prey. The 
execution of this movement was perfect. Both the birds 
were now strugrgHng in the water, from whence they were 
quickly rescued by Hugh Clark, who, to do him justice, 
understood his part of the science quite as well as the 
kestrel herself. 

" We have lost our friends," said Lucy, who, very pro 
vokingly, seemed to become aware of the fact now for the 
first time. Lord Nevyl wished all the friends, as a moment 
before he had wished all the pheasants, safely under cover 
— anywhere but in his way. " We had better rejoin 
them," she added, making a signal for the horses, which 
were in charge of a servitor at a little distance. 

A spectator seeing these two young people riding hastily 
back to come up with their party, might have supposed 
that they were very anxious to escape from each other's 
company. A part of the way there was not a word spoken, 
and when they did risk a little conversation it was reserved 
and constrained. There might be no great difficulty in 
guessing at the thoughts tliat were passing through Lord 
Nevyl's mind, taking sundry contradictory shapes, uncon- 
sciously moulded by his wayward and poetical tempera- 
ment. But it was not quite so easy to speculate on Miss 
Montagu's thoughts. There was nothing to be gathered 
from her manner, which was most tantalizingly insouciant. 
The enigma to which she compared her sex was never more 
vexatiously represented than it was by Miss Montagu her- 
self during that short ride ; at least Lord Nevyl was of that 
opinion. 

They found their friends higher up the valley, trying 
some hopeless experiments with two or three hawks which 
had been left with them by the falconer. Mr. Fiera 



LOVE TO THE RESCUE. 397 

Everington had been cruelly lacerated by a little merlin, 
which he had incautiously unhooded, out of sheer curiosity, 
without liberating its jesses ; and Mr. Charles Everington 
was in no little consternation at having lost a hobby, 
which he had suffered to go in quest of game on its own 
account, and which had disappeared amongst the trees. 
Whether Hugh Clark ever recovered the hobby we know 
not, but it is certain that he muttered an infinite variety 
of hard words as he went, swinging his lure, in search of 
the fugitive. 

These little contretemps brought the hawking to a 
stand-still ; and as there was no concealing the ennui of 
the visitors from London, it was agreed on all hands to 
suspend the sport for that day, and return to the Hall. 
The gallop home was cheering enough. Lady Catherine 
was in florid spirits, and threw everybody, except Lord 
Nevyl, into ecstasies with her brilliant wit and sinister 
repartees. Even his lordship felt grateful to her for sparing 
him the necessity of talking. 

It was twelve o'clock — a clear hour before dinner — 
when they arrived at Lynton Hall. Little time enough 
for maids of honour and courtiers to make their toilets. 
But Lord Nevyl requii-ed less preparation ; nor was he in 
a mood to fret himself over details of that kind. He 
dressed quickly, with an uneasy nervousness, and descended 
to the drawing-room. To his utter astonishment, Lucy 
Montagu was there before him. 

She was as calm as ever — as frank, as lively, and even 
more lovely than usual. The enigma became mere and 
more perplexing to Lord Ne\^'l, who was never so em- 
barrassed before in the whole course of his life. The 
inexplicable self-possession of women ! 

Lucy bantered him upon the celerity of his toilet 



398 EVENINGS AT IIAODON HALL. 

She was unconscious of the greater despatch with which she 
had dismissed her own. But lie was too abstracted to 
perceive the advantage which this shght oversight threw 
open to him. 

" I am afraid 1 have interrupted you, Miss Montagu," 
he managed to say, at last, as awkwardly as he could 
say it. Lucy had been reading a large folio, bound in 
vellum, with ponderous clasps. " What have you been 
reading?" 

" Drayton," she replied—'' my favourite Drayton. They 
say he is only a bad geographer, with just enough of ima- 
gination to lead him astray ; but I love his fantastic style, 
and the sweet glimpses he gives us of pastoral romance." 

" Your unerring taste is sure to detect the beautiful and 
the true, even in the tangled wilderness of the Polyolbion. 
Drayton has always been one of my houschuld divinities, 
but I shall prize him for the future more highly than ever." 

" I suppose I ought to be obliged by so delicate a 
compliment," replied Lucy, with a very sunny smile ; " but 
it is quite useless to attempt to flatter me into the notion 
that my taste is a criterion in such matters. I dare say 
Drayton is an indifferent poet enough." 

'" But it is possible. Miss Montagu," said Lord Ncvyl, 
who was now beginning to recover his composure — " it is 
possible, even if your taste were in error, which it cannot 

be, that still I might like Drayton the more, because " 

There was a tremulous pause on the word. 

" Because ? — well ?" And in a mischievous spirit of 
badinage she was half inclined to laugh. 

"I mean," he resumed, "that one cannot help loving 

everything that interests those who " Miss Montagu 

histily turned over half-a-dozen leaves all at once. 

"I don't like his Barons' Wars," she interposed, "nor 



LOVE TO THE RESCUE. 399 

his " She tried to flutter over a few more leaves, 

when Lord Nevyl gently arrested her hand. It ti-embled 
for an instant in his. 

" You will banish nv3, perhaps, from your presence 
for ever, Miss Montagu, for my presumption ; but — " he 
released her hand — " I cannot, I dare not any longer 
dissemble my feehngs.^' 

" My Lord Nevyl ! " she exclaimed, slightly averting 
her head, "I beg " 

"It is in vain !" cried Lord Nevyl, passionately — "in 
vain ! My long pent-up secret has found utterance at last. 
Pardon me that I have dared to love you. It was not your 
beauty, spiritual and radiant as it is, for which alone I 
loved you ; but that which is more beautiful than beauty — 
that intellectual grace which raised you nearer to the 
divine nature.^' 

" I cannot hear this,^' replied Lucy ; " it is so strange — 
so unexpected " 

" Yet to me so long familiar ! And I fancied, too, that 
you must have seen it — that love could speak tongue-tied. 
How often in the summer nights, when you used to sing 
some of those broken lyrics of the old troubadours, I 
fancied, in the tones of your voice, a sweet spii-it re- 
sponding to my silent heart. How I have dreamed of 
the future — the felicity of realising the mission of the 
alTections. This thought has consumed me day and night. 
Pardon — forgive the passionate devotion you have in- 
spired. One word — one little word of hope!" And 
flinging himself on his knees, he clasped the powerless hand 
of Lucy Montagu. 

In that brief moment she has passed into a new state 
of existence. Her imperial will, her happy caprices, the 
brigh* heedlessness of youth — what have become of them ? 



4<30 EVENINGS AT IIADDON HALL. 

Absorbed in the one new image of life — new, startling, 
confounding. It is the first time the thought has taken 
an actual form in her imagination Her sense of things 
becomes dazzled and bewildered. She will neither desire 
him to hope nor despair. She needs help and direction 
more herself. She cannot answer; she will think — think 
of what ? Everything is changed. She is no longer the 
being of fugitive trifles — on a sudden the half-formed 
fantasies of all her timid wishes assume vital shapes, to 
which she must give grave audience ; her fairy Ideal has 
become disenchanted into the Real. What is to come of 
this ? Does she love any one else ? No ! Does she love 
at all ? It is the crisis of her life — this perilous second 
of time ! 

Fortunately for the trembler, a step, light, quick, and 
buoyant, echoes on the staircase. 

" My cousin ! " exclaims Lucy, trying to disengage her 
hand, but not until Lord Nevyl has impressed it with a 
fervent kiss. 

The door is flung open, and Lady Catherine bounds 
into the room. 



II.— ARRIVALS AND AUGURIES. 

Lynton Hall was a sumptuous pile, which might be 
traced back from small beginnings to the age of Elizabeth. 
Enlarged and embeUished from time to time by diff"erent 
hands, it presented a singular and fantastic specimen of 
that wilful confusion of styles which prevailed in England 
down to a much later day. ^Moorish arches and Gothic 
windows, richly crusted with oniaments, were picturesquely 
heaped upon the flat surfaces and quaint zig-zags of the 



LOVE TO THE RESCUE. 401 

old Saxon architecture; while Italian terraces, stepped 
parterres, embroidered with flowers, and transpicuous alleys, 
through which the sun played at gambols with the dancing 
shadows, completed the heterogeneous but costly ensemble. 

During the Interregnum, Lynton Hall, in common 
with all other country mansions, yielded to the dreary 
influence of the time. It was kept in solid repair, but 
that was all. The fine arts had nothing to do but stand 
still ; there were no accessions to the picture gallery ; no 
new statues, fountains, or garden luxuries ; no improve- 
ments, interior or exterior. All was cold and lifeless. 
The same policy that abolished fans, feathers, and girdle- 
glasses, and shut up the play-houses, had also spell-bound 
the residences of the gentry in a long and dismal lethargy. 

The Restoration acted like enchantment upon the 
sleepers. It was the signal of a universal release from the 
hypocritical dulness, which sat like a nightmare upon the 
spirits of the young and hopeful. The whole population 
started up to enjoy the national holiday, like children sud- 
denly released from the stupefaction of the conventicle. 
Lynton Hall participated in the general rejoicing. 

Sir Edmund Montagu was a puritan — firm, inflexible, 
and sincere. The nobler and the graver elements of the 
character belonged to him. Lady Montagu, inheriting 
royalist principles from her family, had sufficient good 
sense to suppress their manifestation imder the Protec- 
torate ; but the death of Cromwell dissolved all obligations 
of that kind, and rendered the resumption of the splendour 
and the gaieties proper to her station a matter of policy, 
as much as it was, on her part, a matter of choice and 
feeling. 

The chambers of the Hall rang with the clamour of 



402 EVENINGS AT IIADDON HALL. 

changes befitting the altered spirit of the period. Artists 
from London, anticij)ating the advent of the meretricious 
Verrio, had ah-eady, with exuberant fancy, poured out a 
whole mythology of gods and goddesses upon the ceilings 
and walls of the princij)al rooms, galleries, and staircases ; 
and the poetry of invention was tortured into endless 
deformities to find out new devices for emblems and por- 
traits cut in pyramidal yews and bosky shrubs. The long 
walks were buttoned up with rows of pots of la Reine 
Marguerite, every verdant niche had its stone nymph or 
dryad assigned to it, and every vista was closed with a 
sparkling fountain or a classical group. Day after day 
heaps of new things arrived from London, and the ladies' 
apartments were literally strewn over with flirting hats, 
martial gloves, Colambor fans, angel -water, May-dew, 
and French petticoats. Sir Ednmnd did not consent to 
this revolution ; he submitted to it, or, rather, he tried to 
endure it. Guests were come, and more were coming, and 
it was in vain to resist the overwhelming tide of change. 
Christmas, too, was coming — the traditional season of 
English hos])itality and merry-making. The tranquillity 
he loved was shaken to its centre. There was no repose 
for him in the remotest corners of the house. The echoes 
of the turmoil followed him everywhere. 

On the morning succeeding the incident just related, 
he penetrated through a levee of foreign artists to the 
chamber of Lady Montagu, and found her busily occupied 
inspecting a fresh consignment of perfumes, salves, and 
washes. 

" A rare tumult this morning, madam," he exclaimed ; 
" when may I look for peace V 

" "Well, well," replied Lady IMontagu, " it is nearly 



LOVE TO THE RESCUE. 403 

over j but positively we did require a little improvement, 
it is so long since the place was touched. Besides/' she 
added, trying the effect of a good-natured appeal to his 
pride, "you would not have us give a mean reception to 
my niece. Lady Catherine, and Sir Dudley Perrot, and 
the other court people who are to spend the Christmas 
with us?" 

" And so," retorted Sir Edmund — " and so, because 
your niece, a maid of honour — save the mark ! — and 
some jackdaw courtiers are about to make profligate revel 
in our house in the solemn Christmas time, I must be 
scared in my retirement by a hurricane of feet and tongues, 
as if Tartarus had disgorged its demons at my gate ! " 

" Nay," exclaimed her ladyship, " you must be just. 
I never murmured at the painful suppression of my own 
feelings, through the long and bitter years during which 
the friends of my youth were banished from theii' homes, 
confiscated, and hunted like dogs. Nor do I triumph now 
in the deliverance that has come to pass ; I only ask that 
we may be allowed to resume our natural position. And 
not even this for my own sake, but for the sake of 
others." 

"Others?" said Sir Edmund. 

" We have a daughter," returned Lady Montagu ; 
"you would not sacrifice her?" 

" I would have her in all things woi'thy of my name." 

" And of our rank and wealth," added Lady Montagu. 

" Rank and wealth !" he reiterated ; " by what signs 
do you judge of our rank and wealth ?" 

" By the ample dowry I brought you," she replied, in 
a tone of surprise, " and these broad lands," 

The gloom darkened on his features, while he de- 
manded, "To what does this lead?" 



404 EVENINGS AT HADDON HALL. 

" Have you not observed of late," she answered, hesi^ 
tatingly, " the frequent visits of Lord Nevyl V 

" Lord Nevyl ! " cried Sir Edmund, in a tone of crush- 
ing contempt. 

"It is scarcely just,'' returned the fair advocate, "to 
quarrel with his title. You received honours yourself from 
the hand of the Protector. But, in truth, it is only my 
own suspicion, — although I confess I think such an 
alliance " 

" Because he is a lord ! " 

" No, not that ; but because he is every way worthy of 
Lucy, and because his estates lie close to our own." 

" And you would prudently consolidate them. Keep 
within your own province, good housewife. It is a wise 
and needful caution. I would have my blood spread — 
healthily drawn out in distant air, not bound up in close 
deeds and tenures. Has Lucy spoken to you of this?" 
he inquired, with a searching look. 

" Never !" replied Lady Montagu. 

" Nor you to her ?" he demanded. 

" Never ! " 

" Then keep your counsel locked up m your own 
breast. We must have speech again upon this clever sus- 
picion of yours. Hearken to the din of footsteps — more 
visitors — more lords and peacocks!" 

It was as he anticipated. More visitors were arriving, 
and their approach was announced by a bevy of bedizened 
lacqueys, whose clamorous entry made a greater uproar 
than that of their masters. Lady Catherine, through 
whose introduction or invitation most of the court people 
were attracted to the tranquil shades of Lynton, entered 
the room to communicate the intelligence, just as Sir 
Edmund had uttered his imprecation against the peacocks. 



LOVE TO THE RESCUE. 405 

She saw he was angry, but her brilliant spirits and 
high breeding were not to be put out by other people^s ill 
temper. 

" They are coming, dear Lady ]\Iontagu ! " she ex- 
claimed, running over, caressingly, to her aunt. 

"Who?" inquired Sir Edmund, in a freezing tone 
of discouragement ; but his sour reproof was thrown away 
upon the lively maid of honour. 

" Who ? Some of the choicest beaux and gallants, of 
course ; gentlemen of the privy chamber " 

"And ladies of the privy chamber?" interrupted the 
questioner. 

"No— no ladies." 

" Well, there's some grace in that," resumed Sir Ed- 
mund ; " but if I must receive these people, pray. Lady 
Catherine, enlighten me upon their names and qualities." 

" Well, there is Mr. Giles Moreton, a poet, who has 
written verses on his majesty's restoration, a great favourite 
with the king ; and Mr. Plympton, remarkable for nothing 
but his chocolate coat, lined with rose-coloured silk, and 
his lisp ; Pettingal, a beau of the first water, who is said 
to consume more carnation wash and Spanish paper than 
the whole four women actors, boarded by Davenant, in 
Lincoln's Inn; and— and — Sir Dudley Perrot." 

" A goodly company ! " exclaimed Sir Edmund, with a 
groan. " And who may this Dudley Perrot be ?" 

" Sir Dudley ! My court fool. You shall be my con- 
fessor," she added, with a malice prepense, eliciting a still 
deeper groan from Sir Edmund, at the ghostly office she 
assigned him. " Sir Dudley is a lover of mine, poor mot- 
ley ! He is a sort of country squire — as ignorant of town 
life as one of his own great Flemish horses, yet aping it at 
all points, like a monkey. His father, who was in some 



400 EVENINGS AT IIADDON HAI.L. 

kind of trade, expended a fortune in the service of the 
king — and so, by way of a set-off, his majesty knighted 
the fool." 

"A royal way of paying his majesty's debts!" ejacu- 
lated Sir Edmund. 

" But you must not suppose," continued Lady Cath- 
erine, "that I invited Sir Dudley. The truth is, he fol- 
lowed me. He follows me everywhere, like my shadow. 
One wants a motley, you know, to play off one's humours 
— so we must be civil to the poor, harmless popinjay. 
But, dear Lady Montagu, you and Sir Edmund must 
hasten to receive them;" and she ran on, with a vivacity 
that fairly overthrew the gravity of Sir Ednmnd, until she 
hurried them both out of the room, to meet the approach- 
ing guests at the door. 

The three first- mentioned gentlemen made their appear- 
ance in succession, and were received with a ceremonious 
formality, in which the true courtesy of the host was no 
less apparent than his puritan coldness. Sir Dudley 
remained behind. lie hung back in the avenue to adjust 
his sword and rufHcs, and to ])ut on an elaborate periwig, 
which his valet carried in a bandbox.* Having satisfied 
himself, by a careful review of his ])erson in a pocket-glass, 
that his costume was perfect, he advanced to the house 
with an awkward sidling air which produced infinite merri- 
ment amongst the people assembled within. Even Sir 
Edmund could hardly sup{)ress a smile at the fir.st gUmpse 
of the attitudes into which he managed to distort his 
grotesque figure. 

* In the county of Berks there is an approach to one of the old 
mansions which is still called Wig Avenue, from the circumstance of heing 
the spot where the gallants used to put on their flowing wigs, before the) 
presented themselves at the house. 



LOVE TO THE RESCUE. 407 

The guests had already gone forward^ and Sir Edmund 
and Lady Montagu still lingered at the entrance, when 
their attention was attracted by the person of an aged man 
who stood at the extremity of the terrace, apparently 
soliciting their notice by strenuous gesticulations. Hugh 
Clark, who happened at the moment to be bestowing a 
philosophical lesson on one of his hounds, ordered the ill- 
clad supplicant to be gone about his business ; when Sir 
Edmund, rebuking the falconer's harshness, advanced, 
with Lady Montagu on his arm, to inquire into the old 
man's necessities. There was, at least, that one vital vir- 
tue in his republican creed, that it recognised the claims 
of manhood in the poor, as well as in the rich. 

The man was an ancient pensioner who had long sub- 
sisted on the bounty of the family, and who enjoyed a sort 
of reputation amongst the common people for his skill in 
casting nativities and telling fortunes — practices which 
were at that time in high estimation even amongst the 
educated classes. 

" One word in your ears," hoarsely whispered the 
mendicant. 

" As many as you will,'' cried Sir Edmund, who, with- 
out being what is called superstitious, desired rather to 
conciliate than to provoke people of his stamp — " what 
fortune is in the wind to-day, good Master Sachell ?" 

"Ill fortune. I came to warn you. Beware — be- 
ware ! " 

" Tut — tut. You must not alarm Lady Montagu." 

" I tell you to beware, Edmund Montagu. Danger 
and evil, and woe hover over your house." 

" What means this ?" demanded Lady Montagu, 
flushed, and not a little terrified at the strange intelli- 
gence. 



408 EVENINGS AT IIADOON HALT.. 

'' jNlcrc fantasy," replied Sir Edmund, hastily, scowling 
at the same time upon the prophet. 

"No — a living truth/' uttered the mendicant, in a 
Rtill deeper voice. " You will heed my words hereafter. 
Beware who comes into your house, and who goes out. 
Beware, Edmund Montagu!" 

" No more of this,'' cried Sir Edmund. 

" As I have eyes to see, and ears to hear," persisted 
the mendicant, " I saw and heard — not in a vision — but 
the living " 

" The beggar's brain is crazed," exclaimed Sir Ed- 
mund, fiercely, drawing Lady Montagu at the same mo- 
ment towards the house. " Begone, knave ! and practise 
your sorceries elsewhere." 

The mendicant turned and moved slowly away. Lady 
Montague was fascinated to the spot, and continued to 
gaze after him, while at every step he looked back with 
haggard emotion to reiterate the terrible warning. His 
receding figure, tall and macilent, and clad iu ominous 
black, presented to her affrighted imagination the aspect 
of a messenger of fate; and as she passed the threshold of 
the door, the one appalling word, " Beware ! " struck like 
a knell upon her heart. 



III.— A DRAWING-ROOM AFTER THE RESTORATION. 

There is a great movement in Lynton Hall : a gather- 
ing of company, a dazzling concourse of guests. Pages in 
rich liveries fill the vestibule ; and a cavalcade of coaches, 
most of them drawn by six barbs, make a brave stir in the 
old avenue. There is a grand reception at Lynton Hall 
to-night, including, in addition to the visitors from court, 
the principal gentry of the surrounding country. 



LOVE TO THE RESCUE. 409 

The drawing-room, voluptuously decorated, and hung 
at either extremity with purple serge, bound with gilt 
leather, is like a scene of enchantment. A flood of light 
streams down on all sides from innumerable painted lamps, 
multiplied every instant into ten thousand flashing rays, 
scintillating from the jewelled costumes of the crowd. 

The vast extent of the apartment affords ample space 
for the various amusement of all. Groups of dancers 
occupy one end, and small parties are scattered over the 
other, engrossed in a variety of pastimes. In one place 
there is a constellation of bright faces gathered round a 
table, enjoying, to their hearts^ content, the merry fright 
of a little linnet. Ringing Whittington (as it was called) — 
the poor bird being imprisoned for the purpose in a cage, 
on the top of which were arranged a number of bells, 
which rang Whittington as he sprang about trying to 
escape from the tingling music produced by his own 
motions. In other places, gentlemen are engaged in 
lansquenet and ombre ; some are employed in the fashion- 
able relaxation of building houses with cards ; and sundry 
little circles are deep in lively games of forfeits, so much 
in vogue at court, especially that ingenious perplexity, " I 
love my love with an A," which yields so many excuses for 
the wit and gallantry of the beaux ; and that artful romp, 
called *'•' Hunt the Slipper.^' 

The Lady Catherine and her fair cousin have drawn 
round them a crowd of gallants. Lucy Montagu is dressed 
simply, but richly, in white satin, looped up with pearls, 
her bright brown ringlets, without any ornaments, flowing 
in profusion over her shoulders. The maid of honour is 
somewhat more elaborately attired in a peach-coloured 
bodice, lavishly brocaded, fitted tightly to the shape, open 
down the front, and fastened with brilliants, a delicate lace 



410 EVENINGS AT IIADDON HALL. 

tucker peeping over its snowy round above. She seems 
])erfectly conscious of the costliness of that sweep of lustrous 
silk, short, full, and lavishly plaited, and those puffed 
sleeves, gathered high up in front with clusters of diamonds, 
showing, under a fall of the finest cambric, trimmed with 
lace, one of the daintiest arms in the world. Her dark 
Lair floats in long tresses over her bosom, and is further 
enhanced by a garniture of diamonds, and a dazzling flut- 
ter of "heart-breakers,'' disposed with consummate art. 

Mr. Giles IMoreton was paying a thousand unmeaning 
compliments to Lady Catherine. He said that Crashaw 
must have seen her in a vision, when he spoke of — 

" Tresses that wear 
Jewels but to declare 
How much themselves more precious are !" 

" Nonsense !" exclaimed Lady Catherine ; " never quote 
poets to me. There is not a lurking flattery in one stanza 
that I will not match with a piece of downright insolence 
in another. Suckling settles the question at once with a 
most honourable candour — 

• There's no such thing as that we beauty call, 
It is mere cozenage all.' 

What think you of that, Pettingal ?" she added, as the fop 
advanced with a mincing air. Beau Pettingal was one 
of the most distinguished butterflies of his day, and came 
out on this occasion with surpassing absurdity, in a slashed 
suit of amber-coloured velvet, and gigantic silver buttons, 
an enormous peruke, an immense laced steinkerk, a huge 
sword-knot, and a profusion of ribands of various colours, 
streaming from all available points on his breast, knees, 
and shoulders. 



LOVE TO THE RE&CUE. 411 

" Odds life !" quoth he, aping the favourite exclama- 
tion of his Majesty — " your ladyship is right. There is no 
faith to be placed in poets; the only true exponents of 
beauty are the painters." 

" The alternative is questionable, Mr. Pettingal," cried 
Lucy, '•' for the painter too frequently runs into the 
extremes of gi'ossness or affectation. He rarely ventures 
on the ideal, without exposing his want of true taste by 
some ludicrous exaggeration." 

A simper ran through the group. Lely and Kneller 
were the most popular of all the court flatterers — the 
former from the luscious redundancies of his pencil, and 
the latter from the refinement of his wit, which added a 
personal interest to his reputation as an artist. The 
courtiers evidently thought this judgment of Miss Mon- 
tagu's somewhat dangerous, but Lord Nevyl, who was 
close at her side, came gallantly to the rescue. 

" Miss Montagu's criticism is unanswerable," he ob- 
served ; " take Lely for example — he is not merely wanton 
but fantastical. He has a marvellous hand for draperies, 
but then he seldom knows what to do with them ; and his 
most charming nymphs are to be found reposing in brocade 
on green hillocks, or trailing their embroidery through 
swamps or sheep-walks." The justice of the remark was 
irresistible, and elicited an universal titter. 

While desultory conversations of this kind were going 
forward in difi"erent parts of the room, servants were 
moving about amongst the guests with trays of agreeable 
beverages ; and even the most delicate of the ruffled gal- 
lants paused in their badinage to sip rosa solis, usquebaugh, 
or flip, or to linger gracefully over a tart and whipt sylla- 
bub. The progress of these delectable luxuries broke up, 
for an interval, all the little knots of talkers, and gave a 



412 EVENINGS AT HADDON HALL. 

temporary diversion to the gentlemen, whc speedily became 
scattered over the room. 

The group round Lucy and Lady Catherine was 
gradually dispersed, even Lord Nevyl being carried away 
by the general movement. While the cousins, thus left 
together, were freely discussing between themselves the 
topics suggested by the scene, they were surprised by 
the appearance of a person whom they had not noticed 
before, passing slowly through the crowd, apparently to- 
wards the place where they were seated. His deportment 
was stern and severe, whilst his dark and faded attire con- 
trasted strangely with the gay colours and sumptuous 
apparel of the rest of the guests. The cousins observed 
his motions with curiosity. 

" Do you know him V inquired Lady Catherine. 

" No," answered Lucy ; " he is certainly unbidden, 
whoever he may be, or he would never make his appear- 
ance in such a costume." 

" Yet he has the air of a gentleman," cried Lady 
Catherine ; " a likely fellow, well-formed, almost hand- 
some ; somewhat soiled, to be sure — a little the worse 
for the wear, and, perhaps, for want of a change — but still 
a gentleman." 

" He comes towards us," said Lucy ; " he is absolutely 
going to speak to us." 

The strange visitor approached, and making an obei- 
sance to Lady Catherine, addressed her in a tone of per- 
fect good breeding. " A gallant scene, fair mistress." 

" For gallants, truly," replied the Lady Catherine, with 
a slightly haughty curl of her pretty lip. 

" I scarcely expected to see so rich a company m 
Lynton," observed the stranger, after a pause, taking nc 
notice of the gentle repulse. 



LOVE TO THE RESCUE. 413 

" You did not ? And why not, may I ask V 

" Why ? Because/' said the stranger, with a faint 
effort at vivacity, " I thought you were all puritans here." 

" He evidently thinks he is addressing you," whispered 
Lady Catherine to her cousin ; "leave him to me." And 
she raised her voice, and continued : " Puritans ? You are 
mistaken. I am a stanch royalist." 

" You are ? Amazement !" 

" I see nothing very amazing in it," she replied ; " you 
are a royalist, too, I presume ?" 

" Yes, an unfortunate one. I have lost my estate, or, 
at least, been kept out of it by my loyalty, while you " 

" WTiile I have been preserved by my loyalty in mine," 
she interrupted ; adding, in her own thoughts, that if it 
would help her to a holier estate she should be still more 
obliged to it. 

The visitor gazed earnestly upon the beautiful form 
before him. Lady Catherine was not easily subdued by 
earnest looks, but she felt that she had never before 
encountered an expression so thrilling as that which filled 
his eyes while he gazed upon her. The silence that suc- 
ceeded perplexed her excessively, but she was opportunely 
relieved by her court fool. Sir Dudley Perrot, who came 
up with a jaunty leer on his face, just in time to enable 
her to recover her composure. Sir Dudley's figure was a 
caricature in itself ; his glittering buckles, and pink stock- 
ings, his flirting glass, and his forest of curls, and the 
excess of tawdry jewelleiy and rich tissues which he had 
contrived to collect about his person, betrayed the vulgarity 
of his low ambition, which took delight in transcending 
the worst taste of the tavern braggart and box-lobby fop. 
To drown the stench of the tobacco, in which lie indulged 



414 EVENINGS AT HADDON HALL. 

to the height of the fashionable vice, he was drenched in 
perfumes, and scented the room like a civet cat. 

Interposing between the unknown visitor and Lady 
Catherine, he stooped down to speak to her, with a 
familiarity which was instantly punished by the uplifted 
fan, with which she sheltered herself from his rudeness. 
The stranger measured him from head to foot with a 
glance of ineffable scorn, without altering his position, 
until Sir Dudley, dismayed by so unexpected a reception, 
slunk back into the crowd. 

At this instant Sir Edmund Montagu approached. He 
had not observed his new visitor before, and the sudden 
apparition of a stranger so unceremoniously garbed, excited 
his astonishment. Lady Catherine, with instinctive tact, 
softened the reception which she anticipated Sir Edmund 
would have given a decayed royalist under such unj)ro- 
pitious circumstances, by volunteering to introduce him. 

"A stranger, Sir Edmund — Sir Edmund Montagu." 

The visitor turned full upon the host. His face had 
undergone a sensible change. The colour forsook his 
checks, and then returned, and fled again. His eyes 
dilated, and his lips trembled. 

" I bid you welcome, sir," said Sir Edmund. 

"Welcome to Lynton ! Thank you — thank you!" 
replied the visitor, in a low, agitated voice. 

" Your name, sir ?" inquired Sir Edmund. " I believe 
I have not the honour " 

*' You forget me ?" 

" Forget you \" echoed Sir Edmund. 

" I am not surprised at that," continued the stranger : 
"stranger things hive happened, and stranger still may 
happen yet " 



LOVE TO THE RESCUE. 415 

" Do you know this gentleman V said Sir Edmund, 
turning to his niece. 

" I do not remember/' she replied, " having seen him 
before." 

The stranger moved a few paces away, out of hearing 
of the ladies. Sir Edmund followed him, like one under 
the influence of a spell. 

" Sir Edmund Montagu," said he, " this is not a place 
for explanations. Give me a private audience, where we 
shall be free from interruption. Alone — we must be 
alone." 

The warning which had been so mysteriously conveyed 
to him by the old mendicant, now, for the first time, 
flashed across Sir Edmund's memory. Could this intruder 
be concerned in it ? 

" What is your business with me, that I should grant 
this meeting ? " he inquired, scanning the person of the 
stranger ; " I know you not." 

" I am unarmed," replied the other, calmly, " you 
perceive — a civilian, and by no means in condition to 
do you personal mischief," he added, while a cold smile 
rippled over his features. 

"Do you threaten me, sir, in my own house?" de- 
manded Sir Edmund, betraying the apprehensions he was 
BO anxious to conceal. 

" Threaten you in your own house ! " repeated the 
other ; " surrounded by your well-furnished guests and 
retainers — a single man, without arms ! You mock me. 
Sir Edmund Montagu. Do you refuse this interview?" 

"Suppose I do?" 

" Then you must abide the consequences. I demand 
A private meeting for your sake, not for my own. For 



416 EVENINGS AT IIADDON HALL. 

yuur sake, Sir Edmund/' be repeated, laying increased 
eiiij)hasis on the expression. 

" For my sake ! The proceeding is strange — inexph- 
cable. I will trust you, sir, but — " and he still hesitated 
— " you must clear up this mystery. Follow me ! " and 
Sir Edmund went towards the door. 

The stranger turned to the cousins, who were consider- 
ably interested in the dumb show of the abrupt dialogue, 
and making a graceful bow, followed Sir Edmund out of 
the room. 

Lady Catherine's wonder at this sudden retreat was 
heightened, rather than abated, by Lucy's declaration that 
she never saw her father look so agitated before. Her 
ladyship's curiosity was tantalized to the utmost stretch of 
endurance, and she resolved to sift the mystery as soon as 
the stranger returned. 

The gorgeous revel did not break up until long past 
midnight. Lady Catherine looked in vain through the 
assembly for Sir Edmund or the stranger; neither of 
them re-appeared for the remainder of the night. 



IV.— THE UNBIDDEN GUEST. 

"You forget me?" said the stranger, as he strode 
into the old library after Sir Edmund, who, carefully 
closing the door, motioned him to a seat. 

Sir Edmund pushed aside a cresset lamp which burned 
on the table between them, and gazed earnestly into his 
face. " As I look at you, dim remembrances come back 
upon me," he observed. " Be brief. We are out of the 
reach of intcwuntion here — your name? — your business ?' 



LOVE TO THE RESCUE. 417 

" They are one," returned the other. " My name is 
Walter Stanley." 

" Walter Stanley ! " ejaculated Sir Edmund, with a 
wild and incredulous glare. 

" You have not seen me since I was a boy, and I have 
passed through a life of hardship since. It is not very 
astonishing, after all, that you should forget me." 

" I recognise some resemblance in your lineaments," 
said Sir Edmund, " but it is such as might be common to 
many men. I will treat you with no discourtesy. Youi* 
name may be Walter Stanley — there are, doubtless, a 
hundred Walter Stanleys; but the boy of whom you 
speak is dead." 

" Yet was he identified only a few days past by one of 
your own pensioners." 

" Sachell ! " exclaimed Sir Edward ; " he identified 
you? A conspiracy — a base imposition. Have a care, 
sir, how you proceed any farther in this business ! " 

" It was not my desire," said Stanley, " to be recog- 
nised by any person in this neighbourhood until I had 
first communicated with you ; but some men have quicker 
wits than others. The mendicant knew me at a glance." 



" And upon this evidence " 

" No, I stand here upon legal proof. Listen to me 
calmly. You have flung a vile imputation upon me. No 
more of that, for my blood, long fevered by wrongs, is hot, 
and may master my discretion. Command your passion, 
and hear me." 

" You sue for hearing fairly," said Sir Edmund ; " but 
still be cautious in your utterance." 

" For upwards of a century. Sir Edmund Montagu, 
Lynton Hall was the seat of the Stanleys. The armorial 
eagle still looks down from its mural escutcheon. It is 

E E 



418 EVENINGS AT HADDON HALL. 

now twelve years since they were expelled from their 
home, from their country, and reduced to beggai-y." 

" The hand of Heaven," interposed Sir Edmund, 
" smote them down for their sacrilegious defence of an 
impious tyranny." 

" And the hand of Heaven," said Stanley, " has raised 
them up again to re-assert their rights. Be patient, and 
listen. My father, devoted to that cause which you 
denounce, raised three regiments for the king ; his house, 
t/iis house, was thrown open to the cavaliers during the 
horrors of the civil war ; he would have poured out his 
heart's blood as freely as he expended his treasure in that 
sacred service. But it was not to be. When regicide 
crowned the last demoniac triumph of a godless rebellion, 
my father's name was proclaimed, and his estates were 
confiscated. He shared that destiny with others, and he 
bore it with what resignation he might. The prolonged 
misery of siege, and battle, and privation, had already 
destroyed my mother; there was nothing left to him 
in this world but his only son, Walter Stanley, who 

now " Overcome by strong emotion, the speaker 

covered his face with his hands. Sir Edmund awaited 
the sequel in profound silence. 

He continued : " My father left England. He was 
compelled ; his friends were numerous, but as powerless 
and helpless as himself. It was his earnest desire that 
I should receive an English education, and he left me 
behind, under the guardianship of one who was bound 
to him by many ties of gratitude ; and while you, Sir 
Edmund Montagu, were in the enjoyment of my rightful 
inheritance, conferred upon you by the Usurper, I, the 
heir of Lynton, was doomed to the penury of a humble 
roof, gathering such niggard knowledge as my scanty 



LOVE TO THE RESCUE. 419 

opportunities afforded, and eking out the crust of bitter 
poverty under a false name, as if I were the son of a 
criminal. That was the justice — that was the mercy, of 
Cromwell." 

" It was the public necessity,'' exclaimed Sir Edmund, 
" which demanded such sacrifices. You blame Cromwell 
for cruelties which were forced upon him by the universal 
cry of the people. Blame, rather, the tyranny of which 
Cromwell was but the retributive avenger." 

" We shall apply the argument presently," returned 
Stanley ; " for so surely as Cromwell avenged what you 
call the tyranny of Charles, so surely will the second 
Charles avenge the iniquities of Cromwell. But to return 
to my story. My guardian was poor, timid, oppressed — 
a man of peaceful life, and unfit for the difiiculties of the 
trust which was reposed in him. Three months had 
scarcely elapsed after the usurpation, when my guardian, 
scared by frightful rumours on all sides, spread a report 
of my death. He hoped to secure my safety by this 
cunning stratagem, little calculating on the consequences 
it was destined to produce. The report reached my father 
before it was possible to communicate the explanation. 
The blow nearly killed him. The last link of his affec- 
tions was snapped, and he retired from the world to bury 
his miseries under the ascetic offices of the priesthood. 
Years passed away : he had not seen me since my child- 
hood. All inqiiiries after his retreat were fruitless, for he 
had resolved, upon entering the church, to close up every 
avenue by which he could be traced to his seclusion. At 
last the secret was discovered through the agency of a 
monk, who had undertaken, on behalf of the royalists, to 
collect the names of English exiles who had taken refuge 
in the religious establishments of F-ance. He was living. 



420 EVENINGS AT HADDON HALL. 

but on the threshold of the grave. I kjst not an hour on 
that melancholy journey. The shock was too much for 
his enfeebled spirit ; and he died in my arms at Rheims, 
but not," he concluded, " till he had placed in my hands 
the evidences of my birth, and documentary proofs of my 
inheritance." 

This communication, to which, circumstantial as it was. 
Sir Edmund had listened with painful interest, was fol- 
lowed by a long pause. Sir Edmund rose from his chair 
and paced the room in silence. At last, Stanley broke in 
upon his gloomy reverie : 

" This was my business. Sir Edmund. Shall it be 
quietly, and if you will permit me to say so, anncably 
adjusted, or nmst I seek other means of restitution ? I 
come here to claim my right — to enforce it, if need be." 

" Mr. Stanley," replied Sir Edmund, " it was by no 
intrigue — by no subterfuge or treachery, 1 came into pos- 
session of Lynton. I served the Protector — he rewarded 
my services by a grant — an honourable, open grant. I 
am not prepared to admit that such a grant would be 
reversed by the sovereign under any circumstances; but 
I wave that — I bow to the decrees of a higher tribunal, 
who, in its inscrutable wisdom, seems to have brought us 
thus face to face together under this roof. Satisfy me 
that your claim is just. I am ready to take that course 
which my obligations as a Christian gentleman point out, 
without exposing you to the waste or the delays of law.'^ 

" Nobly spoken," responded Stanley, deeply affected 
by a display of magnanimity which his habitual sense of 
oppression hardly led him to anticipate. 

" You see me moved," observed Sir Edmund, " but 
do not mistake me. To myself such a sacrifice, so un- 
expectedly demanded, so wholly unlooked for, would 



LOVE TO THE RESCUE. 421 

signify little. My own desires are few and simple, and 
enough remains behind to satisfy even larger wants than 
mine. But this touches me deeply on account of others 
rather than myself." 

" Your daughter ? " said Stanley. 

" My daughter ! " repeated Sir Edmund, in a voice 
choked by emotion. "Who shall break this news to her? 
It will crush her for ever ; reared in the lap of ease, and 
so unfit to struggle against reverses ! " 

Walter Stanley^s features relapsed into a suddenly 
grave expression while Sir Edmund spoke. It had never 
occurred to him that the recognition of his established 
right would doom the daughter of Sir Edmund perhap" 
to penury. 

" My position is hard," he said ; " I never contem- 
plated the issue you place before me ; nor would I wil- 
lingly be the cause of inflicting sorrow upon that bright 
and joyous spirit. Is there no middle course — no com- 
promise V 

"Compromise!" rejoined Sir Edmund, proudly; "none. 
Justice is whole and entire, and must not be paltered with." 

" Pardon me," said Stanley, " if the strange events of 
this night, so fraught with import to my future life, 
should make me bold. I have seen your daughter. Her 
frankness, her kindness to me, have inspired me with an 
interest which I dai'e not disregard." 

" The feeling is creditable, Mr. Stanley ; but you 
must see how impossible it is to consider such feelings. I 
can accept no boon on her account." 

" Nor would I have you, I offer none. I would 
rather ask a boon at your hands and at hers." 

Sir Edmund smiled at the youthful generosity of the 
speaker 



422 EVKN1N(;.S AT HA1)D()\ HALL. 

" Forgive the earnestness with which I urge my plea," 
continued Stanley. " Your daughter has always con- 
sidered Lynton as her inheritance ; let her still do so." 

Sir Edmund was so utterly amazed at this proposition, 
that he almost doubted whether he had heard it correctly. 
Stanley continued : 

" I have seen her gracing with her beauty her place of 
pride and power. I came with dark thoughts and heavy 
misgivings into the bright assembly, of which she was the 
brightest star. While fops and fribbles looked contemptu- 
ously upon my worn doublet, she — she alone spoke freely 
and encouragingly. Her words fell upon me like sweet 
music. Can I, dare I, for my own advantage, even for 
my own right, fill the heart of that gracious being with 
sorrow ? " 

" Yet, Mr. Stanley," said Sir Edmund, " to that issue 
it must come at last." 

" No, no," cried Stanley, with increasing animation ; 
" I know not how to shape my thought into language. 
But it is possible we might reconcile the difficulty with 
honour on both sides. I offer Lynton to your daughter, 
but," hesitating for a moment, " not unencumbered." 

"Do I understand you rightly?" demanded Sir 
Edmund. 

"If Miss Montagu be free in heart, as — till this 
night — I have been, allow me only the opportunity, grant 
me the happiness above price, of laying my inheritance at 
her feet. How could it be else so worthily disposed? — 
and God speed the wooing ! If it be otherwise — Lynton, 
so newly won, after years of suffering, will have few 
charms for Walter Stanley ! " 

It was impossible to doubt the depth and purity of 
the '"'"ling which suggested this proposal; and Sii 



LOVE TO THE RESCUE. 423 

Edmund, alarmed in his pride at so unexpected a suit 
from one whom he now saw, for the first time, under the 
most unfavourable influences, could not but secretly respect 
the disinterestedness of his conduct. The plan certainly 
offered an available escape from a very serious calamity, 
and there was little in Stanley's personal bearing, and still 
less in his character, so far as this interview had searched 
and developed it, to which, under such circumstances, he 
could fairly take exception. 

" You consent ? " demanded Stanley, who saw that 
Sir Edmund was revolving all these considerations in 
his mind. 

" I make no promise for my daughter," replied the 
other — "I can make none. But you must feel that a 
declaration of this nature demands some pause. If my 
daughter — but I can depend nothing on such a con- 
tingency. Give me a little time for reflection, and be 
assured, Mr. Stanley, that whatever may be the result, 
I am not insensible to the generosity and candour with 
which you have acted. I am harassed and exhausted. 
No more — but good night!" 

" When may I trespass on you again. Sir Edmund ?" 
inquired Stanley. 

" To-morrow," said Sir Edmund. 

Stanley retired; and when he closed the door. Sir 
Edmund flung himself into a chair, and gave way to the 
distracting conflict of feelings which, up to that moment, 
he had successfully struggled to suppress. 



v.— A GLIMPSE OF ORANGE FLOWERS. 

The next morning Lucy Montagu received a summons 
to attend her father in the library. He looked wan and 



42.4 EVENINGS AT HADDON HALL. 

tlisbevellcd. Tlie mental agony of the night had wrought 
a visible change. But his manner was more collected, 
and even kinder than usual. She saw that something 
extraordinary bad happened, little suspecting to what 
purpose it tended. 

Sir Edmund opened the communication cautiously, 
preparing her slowly for the final announcement that Lyn ton 
— the scene of her happiest years — was about to pass into 
the hands of another. She received this intelligence with 
a degree of fortitude that extorted his admiration. Women 
are the best philosophers on such occasions. They submit 
to reverses with less resistance than men ; perhaps from the 
passive resignation of their nature, ]X'rhaps from that happy 
unconsciousness of the greater evils of life to which the 
larger ambition of the other sex is so sensitive. Instead 
of murmuring at the impending misfortune, Lucy Montagu 
had the wisdom and the tender courage to point out many 
sources of consolation in the coming time. 

The conversation naturally reverted from Lynton to 
its new possessor. 

" A man of honourable mind and generous impulses," 
observed Sir Edmund. 

" I rejoice to hear," said Lucy, " that he is so worthy 
of his inheritance." 

" And this youth," resumed Sir Edmund, " trained up 
in adversity, with a noble heart and enlightened tastes, 
enters upon his possessions almost as sorrowfully as we 
shall relinquish them. His joy is turned to bitterness, 
from the painful reflection that in claiming his own rights 
he inflicts unhapjjiness upon us — upon you." 

"Upon me!" repeated Lucy. 

" I am not surprised at the interest he takes in you," 
he continued ; " and that, for your sake, he even hesitates 
i> the fulfilment of the duty he owes to himself." 



LOVE TO THE RESCUE. 425 

"Dear father/' exclaimed Lucy, "you speak in riddles!" 

"He saw you last night — you received him with 
kindness. The sudden contrast between your position and 
his, and the thought that he had come like evil destiny 
upon you to destroy that happiness which you wore so 
graciously, have touched him deeply." 

" Did he say this to you, father ?" she inquired. 

" Oh, yes ! " he returned, " and a great deal more, not 
so readily syllabled by the sullen lips of an old man hke 
me. Lucy," he added, taking her hand, and gravely 
watching the growing flush on her cheeks, "there is a 
way by which you can secure Lynton. This young enthu- 
siast, Walter Stanley, has spoken frankly on the subject." 

" You lay a fearful responsibility upon me, father," 
she answered. ^ 

" I cannot recall," said Sir Edmund, " a single instance 
in which you have forgotten your duty to me. You vrill 
not forget it now. Walter Stanley would make you mis- 
tress of Lynton." 

Poor Lucy was stunned by this terrible news, and the 
tone in which it was delivered clearly implied that her 
father expected her full acquiescence in the proposal. If 
she ever had any intelligible doubts as to the state of her 
feelings towards Lord Nevyl, they were now dispelled on 
the instant. She tried to speak, but the attempt only 
rendered her confusion the more apparent. 

" I know what you would say," interrupted Sir Ed- 
mund ; " the proposal is sudden, and Mr. Stanley is a 
stranger. I know the plea you would make — your tender 
age ; and, perhaps, some pent-up feeling hitherto concealed 
in the modest secrecy of youth. I feel all that — under- 
stand it : but time will soften all, and reconcile you to my 
wishes." 



426 EVEKI.NOS AT UADDON HALL. 

"Oh, father!" exclaimed Lucy, "what can time do 
but prolong the misery of such a union ?" 

" It is at least unjust to assume so much before you 
have given Mr. Stanley an opportunity of making himself 
known to you. How if you misjudge him ? — if hereafter 
you should discover that you had formed a false estimate 
of one who at least deserves a more grateful reception at 
your hands ? You must consider these things. I will 
not take your answer now. See Mr. Stanley ; know him 
— then let me have your resolve." 

" It cannot be!" uttered Lucy, in a voice of involun- 
tary agony. 

" It must be ! " rejoined her father, sternly. " You 
fancy I cannot detect the mystery that lies coiled under 
aU this reluctance. Shall I^refer the question to Lord 
Nevyl?" 

The abruptness of this appeal to a feeling which Lucy 
innocently believed the whole world to be ignorant of — 
that delusion, so natural, so precious to the young — over- 
whelmed her. Tears started into her eyes, and she made 
some foolish excuse about her dress to conceal the tremor 
of her hands. Her secret was betrayed as plainly as if she 
had confessed it in so many words. 

" We will talk no more of this at present," said Sir 
Edmund. " We shall have ample time for reflection on all 
s'des. But take with you my parting words — that if this 
be a sacrifice, it is made for those who are best entitled 
to your self-devotion ; for those who have nursed and 
tended your childhood, who love you, Lucy — God alone 
knows how fondly ! Bless my child ! No tears, no tears ; 
but prayer — prayer for strength to do our duty !" And, 
kissing her forehead, he led her to the door. 

Poor Lucy fled to her chamber, with a heart almost 



LOVE TO THE RESCUE. 427 

broken by her first, strange grief; and when she had 
wept until her eyes ached again with their unaccustomed 
anguish, she ran to seek her cousin. It was a difficult 
confidence, too ; for it involved the necessity of a confes- 
sion which she could hardly prevail upon herself to make, 
even to that faithful friend. 

The Lady Catherine was shocked at the discovery — 
especially shocked, at finding that the visitor of the night 
before, about whose business she felt so much womanly 
:iuriosity, should have turned out such an exorbitant 
monopolist of the chattels of Lynton ; not content with 
the estate, but demanding in addition the living spirit of 
the place. She tried to banter Lucy about Lord Nevyl, 
and about Walter Stanley, and invented a little romance 
about the gallant rivalry for her hand, between Lynton 
Hall and Nevylswood. But her sunny mirth was at fault 
for once. It was the saddest mirth she had ever volun- 
teered ; and she felt how idly her gaiety played round the 
drooping head that rested on her bosom. Yet, in the 
midst of all, she persisted in asserting that, come what 
might, Sir Edmund IMontagu should not coerce her sweet 
cousin's aflections. She was ready to answer for the firm- 
ness of Lord Nevyl, at all events. 

Walter Stanley was punctual to his appointment. Sir 
Edmund received him in the library, having previously 
requested the presence of the ladies in the drawing-room. 
The meeting was constrained on both sides ; but it was 
clear that Sir Edmund had kept his pledge, so far as 
it rested with himself. It was no less clear to Walter 
Stanley that Miss Montagu had given an unfavourable 
reception to his suit. He had anticipated this. How 
could she otherwise treat the presumption of a stranger ? 



428 EVENINGS AT UADDON HALL. 

Still he cherished the forlorn hope that time i.iight subdue 
all objections. 

Sir Edmund was perfectly candid upon all these points. 
He told him that he had communicated with his daughter, 
but that, in the surprise of so startling a proposal, it was 
not to be expected she should be prepared with an answer. 
His suit was at least unprejudiced; beyond that, he could 
say nothing for the present. 

The presentation in the drawing-room of this stranger, 
who had come to dispossess the whole family of the Mon- 
tagues, was embarrassing enough. Stanley, whose part on 
the occasion was, perhaps, the most difficult of all, went 
through the trial with excellent • self-possession ; and he 
certainly looked to considerable advantage in a more cava- 
lierly costume than that which he had displayed on the 
preceding evening. His fine person and manly bearing 
disarmed much of the hostility which must have been 
involuntarily betrayed towards one of a less imposing 
presence. 

He was first presented to Lady Montagu, then to Miss 
IMontagu, then to Lady Catherine. At the last intro- 
duction, he changed colour, and could hardly coutrol the 
dismay produced upon him by the announcement of her 
name. He had committed an irretrievable error — he had 
mistaken Lady Catherine Gower for her cousin. The 
mistake was so obvious in the altered expression of his 
looks, and in the hesitating words which faltered on his 
lips, that Lady Catherine, with her quick instinct, saw 
in a glance what was passing through his mind; and, 
overruling all frigid forms of etiquette on the sudden 
impulse of more generous thoughts, sprang forward, and, 
placing her hand upon his arm, exclaimed, " Mr. Stanley, 



LOVE TO THE RESCUE. 429 

you mistook me for my cousin ! It is so ! You mistook 
me for Miss Montagu V 

Stanley could hardly answer that it was so, with a 
thousand flurried apologies, tiuttering from his heart into 
sundry broken phrases, when Lady Catherine threw her- 
self into the arms of her cousin, hiding the tears that 
gushed for joy from her bright eyes. 

It was so — and the trouble passed from the heart 
of Lucy. But it was only a transfer of the new embar- 
rassment, for Walter Stanley did not love that gracious 
being less because she happened to be only the cousin of 
Lucy Montagu. Nor did Lady Catherine's interest in 
the stranger cease because he had shown so noble a spirit 
in the fii'st hour of his regenerated fortune. And time 
did in this case, what time usually does when young hearts 
are left free to the discovery of mutual feelings — love 
grew upon love, and was crowned in the end with its pure 
and enduring reward. 

And how ran the course of wooing with Lord Nevyl 
and the fair Lucy ? To say the truth. Lord Nevyl had 
very romantic inspirations on the subject, and — if that 
were possible — became more devoted than ever to the 
disinherited heiress of Lynton. There is some perplexity 
in this wilfulness of the universal passion, which the 
world may never be able to unravel ; but it is not less 
certain, on that account, that there are some natures 
which prefer love for its own sake above all human bless- 
ings, and which take delight in manifesting the singleness 
of their devotion. Lord NevyFs heart was moulded in 
this graceful shape, and he dowered his happy bride with 
all the more lavish tenderness, that she might never feel 
the loss of that fortune which he neither needed nor 
desired. 



430 EVENINGS AT IIADDON HALL. 

And Lynton Hall and Nevylswood were once more 
restored to prosperous friendship and close neiglibourhood 
of the affections, revived in younger spirits and sustained 
with cheerier usages. Sir Edmund and Lady Montagu 
retired upon an estate they possessed in Wales — enough 
for their ambition, which now reposed, not in their own 
future, but in that of their child. Welcome visitors were 
they in the joyous Christmas time to their old haunts in 
Devonshire ! 

For the rest of the personages who have Hitted through 
this narrative, nothing need be said, for nobody can care 
to trace their useless destinies. But we must add, that old 
Sachell, the mendicant seer, was handsomely pensioned by 
Lady Catherine Stanley, for his delightfully dismal warn- 
ing ; that Sir Dudley Perrot fell in a duel, which he 
sought for the sole purpose of helping up his reputation 
at court ; and that Pettingal, the beau, expired of a carouse 
with Buckhurst and Sedley, at the Rose Tavern, in Drury- 
lane. 



The voice of the narrator ceased, and as he turned to 
make obeisance to the Lady Eva, he found that she had 
crept close to his side, where, on a low ottoman, she 
had silently taken up a position of fixed attention. A 
few bright tears trembled in her long lashes. She seemed 
hardly conscious that the story was done — the last story ! 
The whole group had insensibly drawn round her. Their 
interest was divided between the incidents of the tale and 
the fluctuating emotions so eloquently expressed in that 
sweet face. 

It uas the last story ! The portfolio was exhausted, 
and there was no further excuse for drawing on the 



LOVE TO THE RESCUE. 431 

imagination of the assembly. Even the elastic spirits of 
youth, — so prompt with ready resources, so unconscious of 
difficulties, — failed at this trying moment. There was a 
slight movement on the ottoman; Lady Eva had slowly 
unclasped her hands, and thrown back the rich curls 
which fell in graceful negligence over her fair shoulders. 
She looked as if she were about to speak ; her lips 
stirred, but she was still silent. Everybody understood 
her thoughts; — the Birthday Revels were over! 

The happy circle that had been so long spell-bound 
under the enchantment of these pleasant legends, now 
gradually broke up the silence, and gathering about the 
fair girl, overwhelmed her with thanks and congratula- 
tions. It had been a week of pure enjoyment, to be set 
apart amongst their most delightful memories ; and they 
assured her, that when they should have separated, as they 
were too soon about to do. upon their several engagements 
of duty or amusement, tne recollection of the intellectual 
pleasures of which she had been the creative spirit would 
Unger with them gratefully through many a future year. 

This was some consolation to the Lady Eva, at the close 
of her Birthday Festival; but she- was for exacting a sort 
of promise, that, when the time came round to celebrate 
the same event again, they would re-assemble to enact a 
similar round of votive gaieties. She would have had it a 
life-long holiday, if she could have had her own way, little 
dreaming of the changes that might happen in the interval 
to others and to herself ; the new ties that might be 
formed, the new interests that might grow up, the blanks 
that might fall in, the sympathies that might be weaned 
from fiction to reality, from the regions of poetry and 
romance to that world of living struggle, whose stern 
experiences too often extinguish both heart and fancy ! 



432 LntMNGS AT IIADDON HALL. 

Still she was not to be denied ; and so they promised oer^ 
with such conditions as might be reasonably allowed on all 
hands, that they would cheerfully attend her next suni- 
uious, and dedicate their best efforts to renew the charms 
which had shed such a refined fascination over these six 
happy Evenings at Haddon Hall. 



THE l.NU. 



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